Two days ago I ran into an acquaintance I had not seen for some time.
The last time I talked with Peter he was working for one of the many Oil & Gas companies in the city. Peter is an engineer, close to 30 years of age, and is the proud father of three young, gorgeous kids.
It’s been some times since he and I have talked and our chance encounter took place in a most unexpected venue – the lobby of the condo building I live in.
As I stepped out of the elevator I noticed somebody standing in the vestibule using the interphone system to gain access to the building.
A moment later the door opened and I realized it was Peter entering the building.
What caught me by surprise was the reason for Peter being in the building. He was delivering pizza to one of the suites.
I don’t know which of us was more surprised by this unplanned meeting but after a brief greeting we both agreed I would wait in the lobby for him to deliver the pizza so that we could chat for a short while.
A few minutes later Peter came down in the elevator and we spent the next few minutes getting caught up on each other’s lives.
Like so many of his fellow Calgarians and Albertans Peter had gone into work one morning to discover that he no longer had a job.
He did not been employed by the company long enough to be eligible for more than a few weeks’ worth of severance pay.
He told me he spent the next few days meeting up with former colleagues who, like himself, had suddenly found themselves unemployed but, he quickly realized that these coffee-shop meetings were no more than opportunities to reflect on the bad times and reach agreement on how poor their prospects were for the future.
Peter has always been a practitioner of The Habit of Resiliency and has long believed that when faced with a setback the only action is to bounce back.
With a wife and three young kids to feed, a mortgage and all other living expenses to pay Peter set out to “do whatever it takes” to bring income into his home and minimize disruption to his family as much as possible.
He told me that many of his former colleagues were horrified when they learned that he was delivering pizza as they felt it to be unfitting for a person with an engineering degree to do so. After taking much ribbing from these folks, he elected not to tell them that he had a second job working a lunchtime shift as a server at a local restaurant and that he was driving a school bus in the mornings and afternoons.
He explained to me that resiliency means that no matter how far you bend you never break and that while he understands that it may be some time before he will find employment in his chosen profession he will never be unemployed because, in his words, “there are more opportunities out there then there are people to fill them.”
The Habit of Resiliency is one we all need when faced with tough times for it is in these moments of challenge that our true character is revealed. The real test of our mettle always comes when adversity is staring at us.
I am proud of Peter and the many like him who, in these challenging times, refuse to be broken and who are willing to use every ounce of resiliency in order to do what they need to do to provide for themselves and their families.
Peter told me that the time spent delivering pizza, serving food in a restaurant and driving a school bus is far better, far more productive and far more nourishing for the soul than the time spent bemoaning our fate and focusing on all that is wrong with the world.
The Habit of Resiliency – it just makes life better.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
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