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Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Sweat the "Almosts"

It was one of those scenes you hope never to see.

I was crossing a street in Shanghai the other day, and coming toward me was an old man, pushing his wife through the crosswalk in a wheel chair. They weren't moving too fast, but I figured they would just make it before the signal changed.

Suddenly a guy on a scooter came out of nowhere (running the light) and swerved around them.

The old man stopped, turned in his direction, and shook his fist shouting something like "Be careful! You almost hit us!"

While he was reacting, the light changed.

Defeated, he had to come back to where he started and wait for the next light.

What was the source of his trouble? Well, most would blame the guy on the scooter.

But if the old-timer had kept going, his burden would have been lighter.

How many times have we wasted breath and energy lamenting what "almost" happened? I "almost" died when I had my tonsils out. I "almost" got that dream job. I "almost" forgot to make an important call.

When I was a kid, we used to say that "'almost' only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." OK, maybe there are a few more examples, but overall, if you "almost died" and you're here to tell about it, I guess you didn't.

So breathe. Move on. Get over the "almosts."

You'll be happier.

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