I pulled into the parking lot at work, counting myself lucky as I did because I spotted an empty parking spot close to the building. I usually back into my parking spots so that, when time comes to leave, I don’t have to take time turning around. Anyway, I backed in like normal, using my mirrors to gage how far I was from the vehicle in the spot directly across from it. I also kept as close to perpendicular as I could with the car parked on my left. I know from experience driving my car how close I can get using my mirrors. It was a breeze. I pulled in beautifully and got out to double check my parking job, all the while patting myself on the back for a job well done. That is until I realized I had made a common mistake. I assumed the person who had parked behind me knew how to park. I’m not sure what was going through this persons mind when they stopped their vehicle, but they were about five feet away from the line. Now, because I was judging where to stop by the car parked there, I was three feet across the line into their parking spot. I probably should have noticed I was off by the car parked next to me, but it was a compact and even though it looked about right, it took up less space. Let me note here that I work an odd shift, and I knew that this person was more than likely going to leave before I got off work. That would leave me parked three feet into an empty parking spot, just waiting for someone to try to park there, and end up bumping me because they were trying to squeeze in. Not wanting that to happen, I got back in and pulled up into my own spot. The more I thought about it the more I realized that what I did in that situation is what a lot of us do in everyday life. We usually judge our own accomplishments by what other people have done, when really there is no comparison. What we have done is according to our own gifts and abilities. We should never judge our own worth by what other people have done. It will skew your perceptions and you will overshoot, or stop short of your own goals. Judge you by you. You may not hit the mark every time, but I’ll guarantee you will be a whole lot more accurate that way.
When I was growing up I checked a book out of the public library called ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea’ (they eventually made a movie of it. I wasn’t impressed). I always loved to read, and had read enough that almost all of the books that the library had that I liked to read, I had already read. I usually chose them at random. A lot of times it didn’t even matter what genre. I read everything from westerns to sci-fi. When I would pick out a book, I would choose by how cool the artwork was on the front, barring that an interesting synopsis on the back, but ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea” had neither. It was a plain hardback book, with a hideous green cover, and the title in small flowing, black script on the front. The only reason I picked it up was because it was something I hadn’t read that was in one of my favorite genres. I read that book through in one night. It was a short, but well written book, and I loved it. The writer had a way with words that swept you along through his story, transporting you in all but body to his world where heroes and dragons faced off. I would have really missed out on an awesome story had I judged that particular book by its cover. People are like those books. You never can tell what is hiding behind those covers, and if you refuse to read the first chapter because you don’t like the way the dustcover looks, you could be missing out on the greatest adventure of a lifetime. I know we have all heard this particular piece of advice before, but I felt like we could all use a little reminder with all the hate-speak and political correctness going on today. So before dismissing that person standing next to you in line, read the first chapter. You might be glad you did.
Last week I posted that I was on vacation, but what I didn’t say was that it was my and my wife’s anniversary. Some of you already knew that. Anyway on June 1 1991 I married my soul mate, Vicki King. She agreed to take my name and join me on my life’s journey. I had no idea at the time how much that decision would change that journey. At times it made it more difficult, but most of the time it is the only reason I have made it through. She has been a constant source of encouragement and I don’t know how I could have ever made it without her. Yes, she has her hang-ups, I am not blind to them but in that respect she is no different from anyone else. We all have our issues. There isn’t a single one of us that is perfect. I just wanted to say how much I love and appreciate her for all that she does. She may not be perfect, but she is close enough for me.