Your Bad Day is Someone Else’s Good Day

The harbour bridge shut down movement of trains last evening in Sydney due to a technical failure. That’s a huge deal in this city as it is the only real connecter between the north and south. The consequences were pretty dire – traffic jams all around, thousands of people on the street looking for taxis to head back home, etc. Word was that there were a thousand people in the taxi queue at the airport with the average waiting time being two hours. Goodness knows how many folks trying to make it to the airport missed a flight last night..

I got out of the station to catch a taxi myself. The guy in front of me got hold of a taxi. As they were about to leave, the taxi driver called out to me and asked me to join – he said he would take both of us as long as we both our fees (the other guy’s place was on the way). This was an example of a win-win-win since the taxi drive earned 2x the normal fare.

However, he took to telling us that he had “saved us” for nearly the entire duration of the trip. He kept pointing to the many waiting for a taxi on the streets and rubbed his hands with glee at the thought of making a ton of money after he dropped us off. I could barely wait to get off the cab..

I learnt a few lessons from this experience –

1. Your bad day is almost always someone else’s good day, and vice versa. The ten minute delay of your train might have helped someone else get to an important meeting and rain during your holiday might have helped a whole legion of farmers.

So, next time you are having a bad day, think of those you unintentionally made happy. It won’t change the experience but it might just make you smile.

2. If you are having a great day, ditch the manic high. Ditch the announcement on Facebook on the day of your big bonus. Share it with a few people who really care. There might be a few on your Facebook friends list who just got let go.

The taxi driver’s family might have been able to share his joy. Both his passengers just felt he was obnoxious celebrating when many were in all sorts of trouble (like those trying to get to a hospital).

3. If you do someone a favour, don’t keep reminding them of it. That just makes you, as the Brits would say, a twat.

3. You never know if a good day is a good day. A good life learning. The privilege of being allowed to play this game is to just play..