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Monday, September 29, 2014

Difficult People Help Us Learn & Grow

Namaste Everyone,

I recall a family of 3 who arrived shortly after we checked in at the RV park in Klamath, OR. The son, who looked like in his early 20's, took their two small non-descript dogs around the park for exercise. The father, probably in his 60's looked angry. Even from a distanc of 20 feet away, by his gait, by his facial expression and his body language showed he was not a happy soul. He also showed his unhappiness by muttering four letter words to announce to the world know that he was displeased.

When J.J. and I finished taking shower, we ran into the father and the son. The father immediately approached us and asked us how we liked the RV park. We replied that we were glad to have found the place for the night before it became dark. He then asked, "What about the price. They are charging $40 a night. That's a nonsense for this XABDA place!!! We replied that we have paid a lot less for more modern, well-maintained places by a lake or river or in the Aspen grove, but RV owners will charge what the market can bear. We added that without nearby competition, it's supply and demand, and for us, we figure it will all averages out. The father added that he is an ex-military and he can stay in a military camp for $6 a night, if he so chooses. J.J. mentioned that one couple we met said that they tried to use Elks Club's facilities whenever they travel. The father grunted to his son, "Hey remember that. Elks Club."  To which, the son replied, "Oh, so that's another thing I should remember for you."

You can see that the father has a problem and the son seemed at a loss as to what he should do to help his father. My retelling the story is to illustrate that one has to accept the situation that is presented to you. It was not the owner of the RV park's fault that this father found the price exorbitant. Perhaps for the owner, it was the right price to charge to stay in business. For the son, it is not his fault that his father expects him to remember details required to navigate their daily life. Perhaps the father, unknown to the son, cannot really remember things.

And for the father, all he said to us may be right. However, it would have been better for him to be happy then to be right. Travel presents us opportunities to meet different people from all walks of life. Some are inspiring, some are kind and welcoming and yes occasionally we meet difficult people. Difficult people are the best teachers and as Pema Chodron tells us, "Difficult people help us learn and grow." (REF: Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron)

Aloha -- Cathi

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