Activated - - NEWS - By Mag Rayne Mag Rayne runs a vol­un­teer as­so­ci­a­tion in Croa­tia.

One typ­i­cal rainy spring evening in Ri­jeka, I was sit­ting on bus num­ber 18 go­ing home af­ter a long day—at least, I thought it was bus 18. There were about 30 other pas­sen­gers on the bus, equally tired and im­pa­tient to get home.

As we reached a cross­roads, in­stead of turn­ing right as usual, the bus took a left. Did I get on the wrong bus? I was about to ask when other pas­sen­gers started shout­ing to the bus driver, “Where are you go­ing?” So at least I was on the right bus af­ter all.

How­ever, now the bus driver was get­ting pan­icky. The bus was over 30 me­ters long, mak­ing course cor­rec­tions tricky, and the fact that he was be­ing screamed at wasn’t help­ing mat­ters. I knew of sit­u­a­tions like this where the pas­sen­gers screamed, yelled, and even threat­ened to beat up the driver.

For­tu­nately that’s not what hap­pened this evening. The com­plain­ers went quiet when a few other pas­sen­gers called out in en­cour­ag­ing tones, “Don’t worry about it, we all make mis­takes. There’s a round­about ahead where we can turn around.” Sure enough, two min­utes later the bus was back on its way in the right di­rec­tion.

How many times in life do we make a wrong turn on the way to reach­ing our goals? We wouldn’t get very far if each time we made a mis­take we started yelling, protest­ing, and com­plain­ing, or blam­ing and judg­ing some­body for the dif­fi­cult place we find our­selves in. Nei­ther would lament­ing get us mov­ing any sooner.

On the other hand, once we rec­og­nize we’re off track, we can en­cour­age our­selves (or those around us when they make a mis­take) that not all is lost—like those good-na­tured peo­ple on the bus that evening. Then we can turn around and get go­ing back in the right di­rec­tion.

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