ben goldfarb 88.
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If given the choice, I would prefer to travel around the country by chauffeured limousine. However, I often resort to traveling by bus when the car is in the shop or waiting at the dealership. And it's a good thing that I travel with the masses sometimes, because it was on a bus that I learned a life-changing lesson that would stay with me forever, or at least until my driver's license expires.
In the early 90s, I was minding my own business on a bus ride from Jerusalem to Tel- Aviv, sipping my ice coffee and reviewing the notes for my upcoming meeting. All of the sudden, one of the bus tires was punctured. This made an extremely loud noise, akin to a bomb going off, or a late night infomercial.
The passenger to my left, a young college-aged woman, hugged me after she heard the noise, apparently as a response to her fear. After she realized that we were in no immediate danger, she released me and apologized profusely for invading my personal space. I told her that it was no problem and I went back to reviewing my notes, which were now soaked with ice coffee, as were my shirt, pants, and left sock.
(For the sake of my continued marital bliss, allow me to digress for a moment and mention that this incident occurred several years before I got married. Furthermore, I didn't find the woman the least bit attractive. In fact, I wasn't even sure she was female at first as she sported a mustache, a beard and uneven sideburns.)
I started thinking about why she hugged me. Did she witness this fear response in cartoons? Did the cartoonists observe this phenomenon in real life and express it in their animation?
This question has been plaguing humankind from time immemorial, or at least since the invention of Dixie Riddle Cupsâ„¢. The question is, does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?
The answer to this question is obvious: Who cares?
The real question that was generated by this bus incident is whether our present life imitating our ideal life, or is our ideal life waiting out in the cold, pounding on the door trying to get in?
I think most people in the western world aren't living up to their potential. I have no statistics to back up my theory, but if I were to write up a report about it, I'd choose a really colorful binder.
Maybe the reason why the woman hugged me had nothing to do with fear. In that split second when the tire ripped into shreds, perhaps she realized that her life might come to an abrupt end. Her instincts told her to hold on to another human being in the attempt to become united with another person. It could be that she had not yet become complete with herself. Or maybe she wanted to see what I looked like with a stained shirt.
Whether or not this theory is true, it's worthwhile for all of us to determine whether or not our current life is imitating our ideal life. If our current life is approximating our ideal life, then we can just continue doing the same thing. If we aren't living up to our ideal life, then we should take action so we don't end up doing something foolish on a bus.
The first step to living our ideal life is to identify what it is. The second step is to create an action plan, and the third step is to execute it. The time to start is now, or at least before your driver's license expires.
Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He divides his time between his yeshiva studies and his coaching practice. His life calling is to help others understand their personal mission and accomplish it with humor, creativity, and spirituality. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the spring. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to email@example.com
Â© Copyright 2007 by Ben Goldfarb