What can we learn from the storms of life?
I've mentioned before that over the past four years, I've been on an unexpected and unplanned adventure of writing a series of novels set in Egypt in 1934 and 1935, a time and place about which I knew little, when on a cloudy day in February of 2011, a movie began playing in my head and I rushed to write down all that I saw and heard.
This morning, as I edited a passage, I came across a statement on learning from life's storms that I wanted to share. An older man crossing the desert says this to his nephew, right after they've survived a big desert windstorm and the boy thanks his uncle for a lesson he just taught him:
The world teaches me something every day. When you pay attention to life, truly pay attention, many good lessons come your way. Some arise out of darkness and wind. A mighty tempest can teach us in unforgettable ways. I wager that you’ll never forget this brief and violent storm today, and what you learned about how to act quickly, to protect yourself, to stay calm, and endure. The most tempestuous things in life often carry with them the deepest and most useful lessons about our actions, and our abilities. If we use our minds well, we can learn from even the most fearful and difficult things. Often, we gain the best insights from precisely those events.
I hope this statement resonates with you like it does with me. We can't keep the storms from coming, but we can learn from them if we pay attention and use our minds well.