Last month, I spent a weekend down in Florida on Clearwater beach.  The occasion was somewhat of an impromptu high school reunion – 14 friends joined, many who I hadn’t seen since we graduated from high school in 2003.

We spent most of the weekend hanging out on the beach and learning about each other’s lives.  Everyone had an interesting story to tell, I truly enjoyed catching up with old friends, and, for the most part, the weekend went off without a hitch.

There was one little bump in the road though.

On Saturday night, we were scheduled to attend an Orioles pre-season game (I went to high school in Baltimore – hence the affiliation) and we had a bus scheduled to pick us up at the hotel and take us the roughly one hour journey to the baseball stadium.

Unfortunately, the ride didn’t exactly go exactly as planned.  In total, it took us about two hours to get to the game.  On top of that, it was very hot in the bus (the A/C seemed to be broken), the driver made a handful of wrong turns, and traffic was very bad.

When we got out of the bus we were all hot and sweaty and baseball game had already started (it was about the 3rd inning when we got there).

On the walk into the stadium, most of us were commenting on how brutal the ride was.  However, my one friend, Jesse, was not partaking in the conversation and was walking by himself.  I went over to Jesse and commented on how miserable the bus ride was.

All Jesse said was: “Well, we didn’t die.”

In the time between high school and our reunion weekend last month, Jesse spent 6 years as an officer in the US Army.  The stern and solemn way he said those four words made his message completely clear.

I’ve found myself thinking of Jesse a lot since I heard him say that comment.  Each of us takes a different path through life, and I often find it useful to try to look at the world as if you’re seeing it through someone else’s eyes.

Through Jesse’s eyes, a lot of things that I might consider inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even painful, really aren’t that bad compared to what some people have to live with every day.

Be grateful for every day: new context on an old adage.

Well, We Didn’t Die
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