Choosing Your Attitude

On Monday, June 17, I found myself at the celebration parade for the Toronto Raptors basketball team, in downtown Toronto. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of that 2 million strong crowd.

I was heading home to Halifax from a weekend with my daughter and son-in-law and grandkids who live in Toronto.  I knew the parade was happening and that the Toronto City Airport was on the parade route.  But the taxi dispatcher assured me that an 11 am pick up at the house was plenty of time to get me to the airport for 12 noon (normally a 20 min drive) and that the parade was scheduled to be long past that intersection by that time.

Best laid plans!

As my taxi got close to that intersection on Lakeshore Drive, it was evident I was at the end of my taxi ride.  Thousands of people stood cheering a long line of parade floats and marching bands.  I paid the driver and walked, hauling my bag, to the throngs of people, figuring I could maybe just cross the street and walk the couple of blocks to the airport.

Not gonna happen!

No one was being let through the parade route to the other side of the street.  And so, I just put my bag down and joined in the fun.  Did I get angry?  Nope.  Was I frustrated?  Not at all.  Was I having a good time?  You bet.

A few minutes later, a woman clearly on route to the airport showed up near me and started asking questions.  When we explained to her that crossing the street at that moment was not possible, she got angry.  She yelled.  She vented.  She, to put it bluntly, had a pissy attitude.

Then a few minutes after that, a man with a suitcase walked over to me and asked if there was a way to cross.  I said no, not right now, maybe a bit later.  He had to catch a flight to Montreal and then to Zurich, but he was so “in the moment” about it all, and so pleasant about the fact he might miss his connecting flight but was so glad to witness the parade…

About 45 minutes later, I noticed a lull in the parade floats passing by.  I said to one of the Porter Airline staff who I was standing next to “what do you think?  Should I try and cross?” to which she said “yes, go for it- but go fast”.  I just barely had time to signal to the man- “follow me”.  I did look around to see if I could find the angry woman with the suitcase, but in all honesty- I didn’t look that hard.

Sure enough the two of us made the crossing, dragging our bags behind, just in time before the next float appeared.  And we both made our flights.

So remember… we always get to choose our own attitude.

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