Did this ever happen to you?
I am sure there are many examples of it in literature.
I was angry with someone over something the other day that has been festering. My anger was feeding on itself. it spilled over to another person, anger with whom over a related incident the new incident reminded me of.
“Damnit,” I thought to myself, “I’m going to revisit the old, related incident with the other person and bring it up again. I will tell him how the new incident with that person reminded me of the old incident with him, and how the two are related. I will use the meeting with him to air some of my grievances. Maybe it will make me feel better.”
I met the other person today for a preplanned meeting that had nothing to do, as far as either of us know beforehand, with any particular issues. He greeted me warmly and asked how I was. He was so nice. I thought to myself, “well, go ahead,” and told myself, “I will start out right up front by bringing up the old grievance. The direct approach and the most honest one are best.”
But, I couldn’t help answering one or two pleasant questions about how I was doing. The discussion kind of took off. “I’ll get to it [my grievance] in a minute,” I thought.
The discussion was so pleasant and interesting that I decided on the fly, as it were, to let the matter lay. For another time. Better yet, never.
When I left my friend, I felt better: about myself and things in general. I was very glad that I hadn’t ruined the day by bringing up old matters that would have only led to aggravation for us both and renewed tension for no good reason at all.
I went home feeling great inside. And, as if I had been given a new lease on life. Like my day had ended well.
Sometimes “missed opportunities” are golden ones.
— Roger W. Smith
February 8, 2018