The rain came down hard and fast, and rapidly pelted my car’s windows. You know what it’s like. As I drove toward my destination, I could hear the water hit the windshield in front of my face. I also heard it pound on the top of the roof and, perhaps most impactful, I could hear and almost feel the crash of waves in the wheel wells.
I was surrounded by water and cars, so I was giving the road my complete attention. That’s because at this moment, my entire world felt as if it had been plunged into chaos. Perhaps it felt this way because it was obvious that I was in control of very little.
I had no control over the amount of rain that was falling. I had no control over the number of cars on the freeway. And, I certainly had no control over the way others were wielding their automobiles all around me. Even time, the weather enticed me to leave extra early, slipped past at an alarming rate. I was going to be late for my appointment.
I took a deep sigh as soon as I realized that I was, for now, in an appointment with unwanted chaos. I could see little but the intermittent glare of red in front of me. Tail lights! They were almost hypnotic.
“Don’t follow the lights!” I thought, giggling, as one of my favorite movie quotes flashed in my mind.
It was chaos all right. Rain, thousands of cars, and red light were a dismal signal of chaos in Salt Lake City. I felt defeated. That is, I felt defeated until all of this reminded me of one, small at the time, innovation involving traffic: A stoplight and a policeman.
In 1912, Lester Wire, a policeman in Salt Lake City, developed the first traffic signal in the United States. He was the first to innovate the use of red-green lights. It was he who, when sharing my plight of being surrounded by, and sometimes even threatened by, cars in this very city, used his mind and wit to tame chaos into order.
I looked ahead again at the rain, cars and twinkling of reds lights. I began to feel peaceful as soon as I realized that the most significant way I could deal with a world seemingly in undefeatable chaos was to recognize it for what it is — opportunity!
The rain came down hard and fast, and rapidly pelted my car’s windows. You know what it’s like. It reminded me that I was driving toward opportunity! I could hear the water hit the windshield. I also heard it pound on the top of the roof and, perhaps most impactful, I could hear and almost feel the crash of waves in the wheel wells — it all reminded me that chaos is opportunity. The promise of opportunity had my attention!
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.