Welcome the un­ex­pected..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

THIS morn­ing I found my driver hadn’t come for work, be­cause he was drunk, and I felt very an­gry about it. We all hate any­thing un­ex­pected, but quite of­ten it’s dur­ing that un­ex­pected time that strange things hap­pen! A sailor tried to find a new trade route to China and stum­bled upon a new (to him) con­ti­nent. Alexan­der Flem­ing in­ad­ver­tently left a cul­ture dish on a win­dow sill and dis­cov­ered peni­cillin. Another sci­en­tist dis­cov­ered sac­cha­rin when he no­ticed a strange, sug­ary taste in his sand­wich.

I read that in 1989, an uniden­ti­fied “mid­dle-aged fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst from Philadel­phia” paid four dol­lars for a paint­ing at a flea mar­ket.* He didn’t even like the paint­ing — it was the frame he wanted. So he took the pic­ture apart... and when he did, a copy of the US Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence fell out. It was folded up, about the size of a busi­ness en­ve­lope. He thought it might be an early 19th-cen­tury print­ing and worth keep­ing as a cu­rios­ity.

A few years later, the man showed the print to a friend, who sus­pected it might be valu­able and en­cour­aged him to look into it. He did, and learned that only hours af­ter fin­ish­ing work on the Dec­la­ra­tion in 1776, the Con­ti­nen­tal Congress had de­liv­ered the hand­writ­ten draft to a printer with or­ders to send copies of the Dec­la­ra­tion to “the sev­eral Assem­blies, Con­ven­tions and Coun­cils of Safety and to the Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cers of the Con­ti­nen­tal troops, that it be pro­claimed in each of the United States and at the head of the Army.”

This was one of those orig­i­nal copies. No one is sure how many were printed that night; today only 24 sur­vive, and most are in poor con­di­tion. But the one in the pic­ture frame was in ex­cel­lent shape, hav­ing spent the bet­ter part of two cen­turies undis­turbed. In 1991, it sold at auc­tion for $2.4 mil­lion.

Life is full of sur­prises... full of good things. Of course, most sur­prises are not nearly as dra­matic as th­ese, and it’s all too easy to miss good things, com­mon­place as they are. Jesse Owens, 1936 Olympic gold medal­ist said, “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, show­case it and you’ll start be­liev­ing in it!”

Un­ex­pected and pleas­ant sur­prises oc­cur ev­ery day... ran­dom kind­nesses from a stranger; wouldbe tragic ac­ci­dents nar­rowly avoided; sick­nesses healed .... We will no­tice if we look. We will see good things sprin­kled lib­er­ally over ev­ery day if we are open. And who knows? As Owens said, we may come to be­lieve that good­ness is all around. All we have to do is look.

Yes, like I said, I need to make ar­range­ments about my drunk driver not be­ing there, and lets see what other new way I’ll find to solve this prob­lem! Maybe a new driver, or maybe I’ll just drive the car my­self..! — Email:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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