Saturday, March 24, 2007

I went back and read some Emerson this morning, mostly because of an experience I had yesterday – a perfect example of what he called “the law of compensation.” He wrote that “every sweet has its sour [and] every evil its good”, and I came into direct contact with that truth through a situation with my car. It was a financial blow on the one hand, but a special gift on the other hand. I had to give a ton of money to the mechanic at a local car dealer, but in return I received a sizeable load of inspiration. It started when I took my car in for what I thought was a routine bit of maintenance but learned fairly quickly that the bill would be far higher than I had thought. For a while I fretted and fumed about the predicament, but before long I settled into a quieter state of thoughtfulness, looking, as I usually try to, for something good hidden in this mess – something sweet in the midst of the sourness. I first began to think about the mechanic who was working on my car. I thought about how this perhaps would give him a wonderful opportunity to prove his worthiness as a Kia master artisan. Maybe he’ll have a marvelous day as he carefully inspects and repairs my car. Perhaps he’ll rush home to his wife and take her out to dinner as a way of celebrating his successful day with my malfunctioning car. My situation was somewhat sour (considering the bill I had to pay for the repairs), but this mechanic, perchance, found some sweetness in it. I also thought, later, about some good people I met because of my car’s problems. The man at the repair shop desk was as gracious as a person can be, as were the people at the car rental place. Also, when I walked into a store near the repair shop, a sour and seedy-looking young man suddenly smiled and held the door open for me. If my car hadn’t experienced its expensive problems, I never would have had the opportunity to experience this man’s simple goodness.

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