As we drove to the Beijing airport for our long flight back to the U.S., Grace, our tour guide, told us a lesson that she had been taught by her mother. To set the reason for the story, I must briefly describe a short incident that happened on Monday, May 28th. The Beijing Capitol City Museum was closed on that day. So, Grace, being the adaptable tour guide, made some suggestions on how to change our itinerary and still meet all of the items on our contracted travel to-do list. Well, a number of our group started to react quite vocally, splitting us into numerous “factions.” It was quite interesting to watch this total breakdown. Finally, after much discussion in Chinese and English, an agreement was crafted. The total time to a compromise was about an hour.
Grace recovered quickly, which is a testament to her ability to adapt and move pass a difficult situation. Today, on the bus, Grace recounted her mother’s lesson.
If you have a bad experience, leave it behind you. Focus your attention on your happy experiences.
This simple, but deeply wise philosophy holds critical keys to being happier. I loved the fact that as I personally search for keys to happiness, I find them everywhere, regardless of what country I’m in. Fundamentally, we are all made of the same stuff and want to live happy, productive lives.
The Chinese are an amazing people with thousands of years of history, a rich mythology with colorful legends and a great desire to make connections with the rest of the world. I found them to be warm, open, insatiably curious, possessing a strong desire to interact with foreigners, a fantastic sense of humor and a great willingness to do their best. Many wanted to practice their English with us no matter how much they knew. They just wanted to interact.
I’m so glad that I went on this trip. It was special from the beginning and always will be.
Have a great day.