Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Child's Response to Life's Unexpected Gusts

--by Ashly, posted May 18, 2009

Last spring I was walking in a park. A short distance ahead of me was a Mom and her three-year-old daughter. The little girl was holding onto a string that was attached to a helium balloon.

All of a sudden, a sharp gust of wind took the balloon from the little girl. I braced myself for some screaming and crying.

But, no! As the little girl turned to watch her balloon go skyward, she gleefully shouted out, "Wow!"

I didn’t realize it at that moment, but that little girl taught me something.

Later that day, I received a phone call from a person with news of an unexpected problem. I felt like responding with, "Oh no, what should we do?"  But, remembering that little girl, I found myself saying, "Wow, that’s interesting! How can I help you?"

One thing’s for sure - life’s always going to keep us off balance with its unexpected problems. That’s a given. What’s not preordained is our response. We can choose to be frustrated or fascinated. No matter what the situation, a fascinated Wow! will always beat a frustrated Oh, no.

So the next time you experience one of life’s unexpected gusts, remember that little girl and make it a Wow! experience. The Wow! response always works.

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Readers Comments

pray4peace wrote: small story, great message... useful for lifetime
Thank you so much for sharing
iferlamb wrote: I benefited from this so much! I am going to work on this very hard. I disappoint myself when I lose my grace and react with an "Oh NO!" instead of a "Wow". Thank you for the story. Smiles...
pattyjoy wrote: Wow! I love that. Reminds me of a lesson i learned many years ago -- when you make a mistake, raise your arms overhead and shout "ta-da! " because it means you're learning, and that is a good thing :) great lesson for kids!
Smitha wrote: Wow. Thats nice. Thank you ashly for sharing this. I am sure everyone reading this post of yours will be benifitted.

I will think positively, and react to bad situations with a wow. Thanks, latesha
anon wrote: Children can sometimes give the most beautiful messages in the most subtle way as in this experience. Beautiful. May more of us be able to say "wow" to unexpected occurrences in our lives.
Poetheart wrote: Gratitude, the wise have taught for ages, is the key to "transmute" all experience into truth. Perhaps, "wow, thank you! , as a response to bumping our head, stubbing our toe, losing our job, or getting our car towed, would train our subconscious mind to think that there is only one source for all. Keep notes, and observe throughout life, how each moment brings you to a greater good. Even the exact degree of needed encouragement is provided; no more, and no less than what will help you the most. "close enough", is what a hindu woman taught me in india (when a dog jumped up and got red dirt on my clean jeans). Breath in, breath out, and let it go, with levity, humor, and the detachment of a saint. Put, "yes", "wow", and "thank you", on the tip of your tongue, in ample supply for each day, and be ready to, "rip 'em off", like golden fireworks, lighting the whole sky.
Lucille Zimmerman wrote: I have heard that when crises hits, you should say something like, "wow, this is going to be interesting" rather than "oh no" -- your body releases a whole different set of chemicals
Kathleen wrote: I too, try to see things as a challenge or opportunity, and not just a problem. But what has helped most was realizing that my life is stuffed-full of difficult events that i worked through, and some wonderful thing happened later as a direct result of that "problem". And it is always something that you would never imagine. My girlfriends and i joke about it, "so sorry about the appendicitis, who knew you would meet and marry dr. "right" :o) as far as the balloon, she may have received another, or mom got her a treat for her good behavior. Maybe what i am describing is simply seeing the silver lining in the cloud. But if that nasty cloud has a silver lining, don’t you want to watch for it, so you will see it the second it appears? So when i am working through my problems (and some are pretty awful) i enjoy imagining what wonderful, could-never-never-guess-it, other things may happen as a side effect. And i like to get creative. You know no one ever thought, "i am working hard and struggling, maybe one day i will get to go to the oprah show and she will give me a new car".
nowtimecoach wrote: Love having the visual to remind me to let go with wonder. Thanks for posting
raok wrote: Wow! What a possitve thinking from a child ,
Thanks for sharing

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