of plans and floods

There was a stale funk in the air today.

It was probably due to the heavy rains that hit the country, causing floods in certain areas. One of the Starbucks I frequent was completely submerged beneath the waters, as was the brand new Wendy’s outlet that opened beside it. The shops across the street were badly affected too, and the shop owners looked bewildered as they watched their livelihood get washed away in the murky waters.

This is the first time such a flood has hit the area and I’m guessing, that’s what caused the awful smell everywhere. It felt as though the drains had opened up and permeated the air with years of muck.

Or perhaps the cold weather gave people gas.

I’m not sure. But it was a funky, wet day.

*

I used to live in an area susceptible to floods and to be honest, as a kid, I loved wading through them. They were never bad enough to cause much trouble and every time there was a heavy, continuous downpour, I couldn’t wait to get out and walk deep into the milky tea-coloured waters.

Today though, as I looked at the pictures and videos in the news, I felt sorry.

The very thing I love – the rain – was causing such pain to others. I couldn’t understand why those unaffected were laughing at the demise of those who will be spending the next few weeks cleaning up the mess, both financially and physically.

As it is, photo-shopped images making light of the situation are popping up all over and I wonder, are we such a handicapped people that we are unable to empathize? Is this the best way we know to handle another person’s tragedy?

I’m not asking for everyone to cry with others and I have to admit, I was mildly amused with the funny photo-shopped images when I first saw them. I’ve not done anything to help either because (I reason in my mind) the people most affected were shops and businesses who probably have good enough insurance coverage to handle this crisis.

But this makes me wonder though… am I cold and uncaring? Am I just like one of the laughing bystanders, excited by the crisis?

Just a thought (and a prayer) on a cold, wet night.

*

‘Life doesn’t always unfold like we plan, and dreams have the tendency to shatter. Crisis is inevitable. So don’t fear it, run from it, or ignore it. Embrace it. It’s an opportunity for change. It’s an opportunity to see who’s really with you. It’s an opportunity for creativity to be birthed. Nearly every crisis contains within itself the seeds of opportunity.’

– Michael Hyatt

With every production I’ve had to handle, there was always a chink in the works and over time, I found myself getting used to planning contingencies, readying myself for changes and the curve balls that may come my way. This in turn affected the way I plan my life’s affairs… I always need a Plan B.

Today, a new project landed on my lap with a deadline next week.

Tomorrow, I need to make a presentation on several marketing strategies for this project and quite honestly, I have no ideas right now. None. I spent an entire day researching and found myself coming up with empty. I was uninspired. And then I read Michael Hyatt’s blog post on the Nashville flood:

‘If you want solutions, you need to be quiet every chance you get. If you will stay quiet long enough, you will start to hear some creative brilliance rise to the top.’

Stay quiet.

How hard is that for the business owners affected by today’s flood?
How hard is that for the people responsible to make things work when they see things fall apart?
How hard is it… to stand still?

I think it’s possible when we remember Who holds our world.

‘Let go,’ I hear Him whisper, time and again. ‘Let Me do it.’

And I just did that. I let go.

And I rest easy… as I hear the rain beat against my window.

much ado about nothing


‘It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.’

– Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t get it.

Why do people relish in seeing others fall, especially when the mistake was made by a person in the limelight? Why do we enjoy reading about celebrities’ failures, politicians’ poor grammar and leaders’ errors in judgement? Does it make us happy when we see their veneer of perfection (which we know is but a public persona) crack?

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the news in the media and at the same time, watching some members of my team scramble to handle the unnecessary attention.

I just felt it was a total waste of time and resource. Not what the team was doing – that was essential – but the hype over… nothing. And I couldn’t help but remember that Theodore Roosevelt himself once said, ‘The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.’

Shouldn’t the evidence of mistakes be in a way, celebrated? They are human. And we have hope because… if it was any of us in their position, shit, we might have made a bigger mess.

So there. Let it go.

*

I went running today and found myself being a tad bit self-conscious when I passed by other runners. It didn’t matter if I felt like dying because the moment someone came by, I held myself straighter, lengthened my strides and tried to breathe normally, instead of panting loudly, which was what I was really doing. After this weird reflex action occurred a few times, I started grinning to myself.

It was so absurd.

I needed to focus on my running but there I was, concerned about the opinions of people who firstly, don’t know me and secondly, don’t care.

I let it go.

The next time runners passed me by, I willed myself to be… myself.

And began to enjoy the wind, the feel of fire on my legs and in my lungs.

This is why I do this – for me. Let it stay that way.

Onwards!