Opportunity Defined - Christine Kane

One of my blog readers wrote to me about an opportunity she had recently. We’ll call her Wanda. She was with a friend of hers, who also reads my blog.

Wanda and her friend found themselves unwittingly in the middle of quite a dramatic situation involving several other people. Things got inflammatory among the parties involved. Emotions were high. And behavior was getting a little crazy. Wanda said that she and her friend stayed centered and were able to bring some peace to the situation, but that the other people involved remained upset and in the drama.

Later, Wanda and her friend had a moment to be alone as they were driving. Wanda said they were quiet for a while in the car. Finally Wanda looked at her friend and said, “Well, this is the perfect opportunity.”

Her friend looked confused and said, “Huh?”

“Yes,” said Wanda. “We have been given a great opportunity NOT to collude with each other.”

They both laughed. Wanda said it was a great reminder, and that it removed the temptation to do what would have been so easy in that moment: to trash other people. Wanda said that it really raised the energy between she and her friend.

I like this story because I’m in an airport with delayed flights today. My own reader has reminded me that I have the opportunity NOT to let my ego get puffed up!

How many opportunities can you find in each day?

  • Chris Melton

    Your article is enlightening. Though I have known the definition of collusion since my college days, I had never considered it’s use as it relates to personal relationships. You have hit the nail on the head.

    It is very easy for us to talk with our “friends” about our “less than friends” and think that there is nothing wrong with it, but this is not the case. We are destroying the character of another while at the same time revealing that we have the propensity to destroy the character of another.

    Thanks for the revelation.


  • Danny

    Though it is a slightly different direction, it reminds me of something in “Ask and it is Given”. In a nutshell, one of the processes “The Book of Positive Aspects” describes a perfect city, that is peaceful and beautiful. It has fascinating attractions and entertainment, and has wonderfully well-flowing traffic. There is one problem with this perfect city though. “There is a very deep pot hole on 6th Avenue.”

    Abraham goes on to point out that a natural inclination is to tell people to “Watch out for the pothole…!” If we do this, we have shifted our attnetion to the pothole and away from all the beauty that the city has to offer.

    Taking this example, Abraham descibes a woman who has been pronounced terminally ill. Her body is 99% working, however she has a “pothole” that is bringing her down. She becomes focused on the pothole until “it eventually consumes her city.”

    The lesson I glean from that is that we should focus our attention on what is good around us and be thankful for the beauty that is there. If there is a pothole on your 6th Avenue, take 8th Avenue, instead. If you want someone to avoid the pothole, take the opportunity to describe what you see on other routes so they will be attracted to the beautiful landscaping on 8th Avenue or interesting architecture on 4th Avenue, instead of the pothole on 6th. Then, step back and watch how differently things unfold.

  • Tina Su

    Thanks for inspiring me to seek for more opportunities each day and to grab it.

    Love & Gratitude,
    Think Simple. Be Decisive

  • Katherine/ME

    Ha, just wrote a long personal example of how i took the high road intead of getting sucked into drama and realized i would be putting this out for all the world to see hence contributing to drama–yikes! deleeeeeeete. probably best if i just say i had an opp. to really get into it with a very emotionally annoying person who is so rapped up in her victim cloak that sooner or later, if one spends any amount of time with her, will become tossed into the pit of all the people she can’t trust and who are horrible to her. i did initially get hooked as i was annoyed and angered by her blaming me for her troubles. but the hooked got released when i decided to offer her my apologies if i did or said anything to cause her distres. i further went on to say that i would always have a smile for her even if she felt she could not for me.
    i did not know it at the time, but now i see that in doing this, she got her hook back in her lap and i am free. i feel empowered because i was clear that i was not willing to participate in her drama. and i get to be happy instead of dreading seeing her for the rest of my life! Yahoo!!!
    AND, this little event has become a reference for me for other hook situations. a nice reminder that i always have a choice to take the hiigh or low road and my emotions are my indicator of which road i took. even nicer is the notion that, if i had missed it, i can back track to that fork in the road and take the high road.
    this has been sort of fun too as i am discovering how much happier/calmer/centered/real/smarter i am on the high road.

  • Christine Kane

    thanks fivecats – that’s quite an adventure.

    lisa – i’ve always heard that when you talk about other people – you’re doing harm to yourself, and doing nothing to them!

    tim – i sat in the white rockers at the Charlotte airport for several hours. (sometimes though, i can get a little exhuberant with my rocking chair and look a little like a toddler.)

  • Tim Graham

    I find airports are the best place for practising this.

    I was recently in Logan Airport (Boston). There was a row of white rocking chairs, about 50 of them, in a long corridor looking out to the tarmac. THe atmosphere in this place was quite serene. People smiled, talked quietly and weren’t using cell phones!

    Meanwhile at the service desk the clamour for upgrades, rebookings and you-have-to-get-me-there-now type stuff was a stark contrast.

    Such a simple device, but very effective!

  • Lisa

    I really enjoyed being introduced to the idea of collusion – it is something that I grew up with, and am trying to fight against every day – it is like bingeing on junk food. It might feel good momentarily, but then you have that sick feeling. My boss, who’s Jewish, told me that whenever you talk about someone else (in an unkind way), you are doing harm to this person, if even energetically. How much better it is to put good energy into the universe.

    I just found out you’re coming to Ft. Lauderdale in December – yay! BTW, the Great Big Dreams conference was great.

  • fivecats

    a few months ago we were doing a sunday morning errands and decided to stop in at our local dunkin donuts. the moment we stepped in it was clear there was High Drama going on inside. a white woman with stringy blonde hair was very loudly going on about her keys. she had them when she came in and then didn’t when she got back to her van. that meant someone behind the counter MUST have stolen them from her.

    the all black staff behind the counter tried reasoning with her and finally started giving her equal attitude back. the white manager came out from her office and tried talking to the woman who, by this time, was insisting that she either be allowed to watch the surveillance video or she was calling the police.

    the manager refused to allow her behind the counters but said she would review the video herself. the woman, not satisfied, called the police.

    and then continued to bad-mouth everyone in the store. she was putting on quite a show for all of us in line.

    when the manager said she had seen the woman pick up her car keys from the counter before leaving, the woman flatly denied it. she then went back out to her van to wait for the police.

    a few minutes later the woman returned, apologizing loudly. the thing was, however, she was apologizing to the white manager and refused to make eye contact with any of the black staff members.

    that’s when we had had enough and started speaking up, pointing this out, in equally loud terms to the woman.

    suddenly it was none of our business what was happening. i wasn’t too pleased with the “pay attention to me but only in the way i want you to” attitude and pointed out the inconsistencies in her performance.

    the odd ending to all of this came from a well dressed husband and wife who came in as we were getting involved.

    “please, please!” the man said. “we’ve just come from church. can’t we all just be quiet and show some respect!”

    i suppose i’m less of a warm fuzzy church service kinda guy and more of a church-in-action guy.


    and if you’re still sitting in the airport with wifi and bored, here’s an image of home you might like: