Yesterday evening, after leaving class, I was involved in a three cars crash that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was sitting at a stop light waiting to make a right turn and two cars traveling east/westbound collided when the Westbound car turned left in front of the Eastbound car. The Eastbound car, after hitting the westbound car, continued right into my car. Two of us are OK but one driver eventually had to be taken away by paramedics. While I was sitting there waiting for the officer to arrive I asked myself what this experience had come to show me. Instead of focusing on the negatives of the accident ( I missed and endorsement interview) I decided to anticipate the good that surely was to emerge. I decided to apply my philosophy of Eating My Dessert First!
One of the drivers (the one taken away by paramedics) was a beautiful middle aged Hispanic woman who clearly was scared and shaking. Her name is Amalia. She came over to me and in Spanish asked me if i was OK. Here she was, the one who had suffered the most damage to her car and to herself, asking me if I was alright. In what little Spanish I know I told her that I was OK and could see the distress in her face. Emotionally she was not OK and it turned out that she was not OK physically either. I put my arms around her and told her that everything was going to be OK. She held onto me until the officer arrived.
The investigating officer was awesome and somehow made being in an accident not so bad. He was extremely professional but expressed concern as well.He was very gentle with Amalia and didn’t flinch when she told him that she didn’t have a licence. he took good care of her.
After being at the scene for nearly two hours I managed to strike up a conversation with him while he finished his report. He talked about his daughter who has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and his sister who was addicted to crack cocaine and who died of AIDS in prison and how each of these life experiences made him a compassionate person which was clear in his demeanor. We talked about the Metro Police officers’ retirement benefits and how even after 21 years on the force he has to work another 10 to get his full retirement benefits which I think sucks.
He finished up the report and gave me my copy and I asked him for his card and gave him my candidate card. He looked at it and asked me where Assembly district 13 was. I told him and he and I both were thrilled to find out that he lives in my district. He committed to voting for me and also helping our neighbors with the burglary issues that some of our developments have experienced which I have been working on with some of the residents. He told me which Watch Commander to contact regarding the burglary issues and said that if I needed him for anything else I could call him. I shook his hand and turned to leave when he announced to the other officers that were on the scene “that’s my Assemblywoman!”
When crisis arrive, and they surely will, I encourage you to shift your focus from the crisis to the blessing within the crisis because just as surely as the crisis is there the blessing is as well. We must anticipate it and even expect it.