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Good Friday Focus

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JAMMED: But there are still opportunities
Good things often come out of bad situations.

That thought came to me when I looked at the calendar and noticed this issue of The Voice would be coming out on Good Friday. Actually, the thought came a bit later than that because the first thing I thought about was why the day was called good.

I mean it’s the anniversary of the day when a very kind human being was nailed to a cross where he eventually died. It is hard to believe anyone of any faith would think of that as good. For Christians, though, that event was a necessary evil because, as they see it, Jesus Christ’s death paid the price required to save the souls of his fellow men.

It also set the stage for Easter Sunday when they believe Jesus rose from the grave before walking the earth for 40 days giving out useful advice before moving on up to heaven.

Religion can be a touchy topic so I hope my loose wrap-up of these holidays doesn’t offend any believers or put off people of other faiths from considering Christian teachings… or reading the rest of this piece. Anyway, whether you believe that story or not, you have to admit it is a great example of how a lousy situation can lead to a very desirable result.

Of course the argument could also be made that living a kind caring life doesn’t always lead to rewards in this world. Without that bit about going up to heaven many would conclude Christ got a raw deal, but I do not agree. It is not just delayed gratification.

We get returns right away from being caring and unselfish. I think that’s one of the main points the writings about Christ are hoping to get across. One obvious benefit is that approach helps us feel good about ourselves and another is that finding joy in being kind to others gives us more control over our own happiness.

Many of my days now begin with a stop-and-go drive through rush hour traffic. For most of my life I’ve tried to avoid that situation so I expected the change to be quite challenging. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of side streets along my route where drivers have to rely on the good will of others to join or cross the main line of cars.

That allows me to spend much of the 30 to 45 minute drive looking for opportunities to let vehicles come in and balancing those drivers’ needs with my own and the well being of the people on the road behind me.

It requires awareness but other drivers often smile and wave as we briefly communicate through our windscreens and that makes me feel good. Also, thinking that way keeps my mind occupied with useful thoughts so I am less likely to feel sorry for myself and wish I was somewhere else.

Okay, backed up roads don’t have anything to do with the original Good Friday and Easter story. All the same, if we can apply an unselfish approach in situations like that, even annoyances like traffic jams can lead to good results.