Finding Good in Negative Experiences

I was reminded today of an example of finding good in negative experiences. We’ve already got a full house of our own kids plus two guests coming. One of my kids asked if he could bring a friend and without hesitation I said yes. What influenced me in regard to this is a negative experience that happened to me.

Over thirty years ago as a student in Israel studying in an Israeli program I had to find lodgings for the Sabbath every week. Staying in the dorm was not an option. I traveled to all kinds of interesting places but the pressure of constantly needing to find a place was not easy. One week in particular I was stuck. There were no cellphones then. The public phone that I had available to me worked on a system that used a round metal piece called an asimon that looked like a small coin. These were dropped into the phone and one had to keep feeding them into the telephone as one rushed to get out the words fast enough before they disappeared into oblivion and that was the end of one’s phone call, like it or not.

It was Friday. As I called one person after another who said that they could not accommodate me this week I grew more and more despondent. Finally, I watched the very last asimon drop after calling the last name in my book, and I sat down and cried. I don’t remember what I did that week. I’m sure I didn’t sleep in the street but that image was powerful for me, so much so that today I rarely say no to a student who needs a place to stay.

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