Sometimes it's hard to know if you were in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time.
Phew. That makes me exhausted just thinking about analysing that.
I am contemplating that right now as I think of the experience my nephew had on the weekend. He may very well have been in the wrong place at the wrong time .... but then he could have been in the right place at the right time ... depending on your perspective.
Josh was walking through the mall on Saturday having just bought his lunch when a bag full of "something" (possibly cap gun ammunition) exploded nearby. He was about 4-5 metres from the explosion when it occurred and he saw an adult man fall to the ground with his jeans ripped off him, covered in blood. Josh said it all happened in slow motion. He thought the man was dead. He wasn't moving and his clothes had shredded. Nobody knew what had exploded. The panic mindsets suggested it was as bomb. People started running everywhere. The police came. Josh felt like he was standing outside himself watching a movie. His ears were ringing with one ear numb. He rang his mum to tell her what had happened. She was on her way. He just stayed where he was watching it all unfold wondering if perhaps this was actually real, or whether he was dreaming. The police interviewed him and he told them what he could. Meanwhile the ambulance treated the man as well as a teenager who was injured. The area was roped off and a tent was put up around the victim. Nobody died.
As far as we can tell Josh seems to be handling it all very well. He is talking about it freely. He is not injured and his ear is getting back to normal. Of course there may be some post trauma still to come, and he has yet to go back to the mall so it will be interesting to see what his cellular memory might do when he first sets foot back inside the mall. But for now he is good.
So, was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or the right place at the right time?
If he was only two metres further to the left could he be the one lying on the ground with a tent around him? If he had chosen to eat a donut rather than a burger could he be the one with pellet cuts all over his body? If he had stopped when crossing the street for a do-not-walk sign could he have missed it altogether ? If he had chosen a shorter line in the Maccas queue could he have already been in another area of the mall?
There are a lot of "what ifs" in our world. As well as a lot of "if onlys". It only takes a split second decision or a minor diversion to potentially change the course of our lives. That's why there's no point getting hung up on it.
Direct what you can, use your sensory acuity to adjust as necessary, and just know that the rest is out of your control.
I know what is in my control! My new business venture. It's my job now to make sure I am in the right place at the right time to take advantage of opportunity ...
It's also my job to make sure I'm in that mall when the electronics sales are on so that I can get my hubby his Christmas gift. Why do I always leave him til last?