How could I have made the most of a “chance encounter”?

Dear Readers: Today’s advice question comes from one of my students in the CWG Online School, who has recently decided and declared his life calling is to be a “good Samaritan.” When I read his response to one of our homework questions, I knew I wanted to share it with all of you in the hopes that you will gain from his experience:

As I was leaving a take-away shop with my dinner recently, I passed a guy who was just sitting on the sidewalk with no shirt on, an unkempt look, a bottle of beer and a shopping bag which seemed to have all his possessions in it. As I walked past he says, “Hey, old mate.” I chose to ignore him, thinking, “I do not need this hassle or want to deal with this at the moment. I just want to get home, I’m exhausted.” And I then let fear take over.

He says again, “Hey, old mate,” but louder this time. I chose to ignore him again and kept walking. Again he says “Hey, old mate,” and his voice is quite loud. This then got the better of me and I snapped at him and said quite loud myself, “Are you right? What’s Up?”

He then looked at me and slowly turned his head away and looked towards the ground – and I just got in the car and drove away, feeling angry and also like a heel. Then I beat myself up a bit and thought of a thousand different ways I could have handled this differently. I could have acknowledged him at least.

Maybe he was down on his luck and just hungry and I could have bought him a $9 meal from the take away shop, as I had the money. And not let fear take over. Maybe he might have only wanted to know what time it was, etc. So this was a real eye opener for me to see that I have a long way to go in having the right attitude and how I perceive others and how I might respond in unusual situations. I am feeling a little lost at the moment… Ben

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Oh, Ben, don’t you see the perfect irony in this “chance encounter”? If not, please let me show you how it looks from my perspective:

1. You decide and declare Who You Really Are, which is a good Samaritan.

2. You meet someone on the street who, in the past, would have frightened you, simply by his appearance—unkempt, drinking beer, apparently homeless.

3. You forget your decision to be a good Samaritan and you do the exact opposite, reacting as you would have in the past, rather than creating as you would like to from now on, when faced with this type of situation.

4. He looks you in the eye, then slowly looks away as if to say, “You forgot, Ben, to be a good Samaritan. Here I am giving you the perfect opportunity to fulfill exactly what it is you say you are, and you forgot.”

5. You, of course, feel terrible because your actions were out of alignment with your new decision about yourself.

Please, please forgive yourself for forgetting, dear sweet Ben. We all forget… until we don’t anymore. And remember this encounter, always. Then the next time something like this happens, you will choose differently, thus allowing yourself to feel really good about remembering, then acting on, your decision to be a good Samaritan.

Do you know what the definition of “sin” is? It’s missing the mark. Whose mark? Our own! When we commit a sin we’ve fallen short of who we say we are, knowing we could have done better. Now, “go and sin no more,” dear Ben. You are growing into higher and higher states of awareness, and these growing pains are all part of the process. This is Life, giving you the right and perfect opportunities for you to step into your next grandest version of the greatest vision you ever held about Who You Are.

This was a perfect life lesson for you. And now, the “Moral of the Story”:

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson!

(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Life Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com.

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  • Therese

    very powerful, Ms. Annie. “sin” is missing our own mark.