This is our first winter in West Virginia. A few weeks ago we had an inch or two of snow and our area schools dismissed students early. Classes were canceled the next day. Coming from Toledo where snow falls more often, I felt the school closings were quite unnecessary and overcautious.
I’m going to confess that I had all these inner thoughts of self-confident superiority… “Doesn’t anyone here know how to drive in the snow?” “Are West Virginians wimpy?” “I can’t believe they canceled school with this little amount.” “You call THIS snow?”
As I breezily drove to my daughter’s house to stay with my grandsons, the main streets were practically clear and dry. Yes, people surely overreact around here.
Then I came to the hill in my daughter’s neighborhood. The steep climb was icy and treacherous. The curves and slopes made driving on snow quite slippery and frightening. Brakes don’t work as well when one’s car is on an icy incline! By the time I arrived, I had to have my son-in-law park my car for me because I was quite stressed and shaky. I was vividly reminded that my experiences aren’t the same and also aren’t true for everyone, everywhere.
How often do we judge others because we aren’t aware of the hills they face every day? How often do we appreciate the lack of challenges we have had to face? Do we comprehend how often we simply have had an easier road to navigate?
I had considered myself a courageous, skilled, and experienced driver. I felt able to handle snowy conditions- until I faced the hill. Now I know I have many lessons yet to learn.
The first of which is humility.