Potholes and smiles

Potholes abound on the roads of Chicago. Some get repaired immediately; others go for months with astute drivers navigating around the tire damaging sinkholes. With each heavy rain or a few days of snow, a new hole appears. Then, with a few days of sunshine and warm air, tar patches appear, and tires roll down bumpy roads with rocks dinging  the bottom side of the car.

I’m not complaining – I am simply stating a fact. As I was driving down one of these incredibly bumpy roads yesterday morning I began to ponder potholes. Potholes are a reality of life in Chicago. Everyone knows it and we drive accordingly: slow down, swerve around, avoid the worst roads.

And this is what we do with life isn’t it? With the recession, people slow down, avoid extra bills, save when they can – just in case. But just as with potholes, trouble comes from the unexpected. You can be rolling along, paying attention and being careful – when all of the sudden a new pothole appears. Job loss, medical expense, an unexpected car repair bill. Life happens.

So, what can we do?

For me, I try to remember my blessings. My son’s high school classmate just lost her mother to cancer after losing her father to the same disease last year. My brother has just lost his second wife to illness; twice widowed. Hundreds, if not thousands, lost their homes last week to tornadoes. Of course, the list can go on and everyone has a story….

As I was walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago yesterday heading to an interview, a transient man stood on the corner and with a sense of calm respect, simply asked the passers-by to give him A SMILE.

Somehow amid life’s potholes were you able to count your blessings and smile?

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