Subotica, Serbia (photo: InSerbia News)
I had no idea what they were saying, but I was happy.
You know those moments when you stop and think to yourself, how did I wind up here? Of all the possible scenarios and different ways my life could go, I’d never have predicted I’d be sitting in a small Serbian farming village, watching a Russian play performed in Hungarian.
But there we were, the “two crazy Americans” (as we’re now known in the village), sitting in the second row, watching the show unfold before our eyes. At first, it was amusing to observe our fellow theatergoers’ reactions – particularly those of the two young girls sitting to our left. Whatever was being said they clearly found very amusing.
It wasn’t long, though, before the play in my head got louder than the play on stage. I was distracted by the foreign words and I started down a familiar path: What am I doing here? I’m bored. I wish I was doing something else… yadda yadda yadda. You know that familiar voice that can take you into unfriendly neighborhoods?
What exactly kept me from going into that region in the end, I’m not sure.
Maybe it was the picture-perfect summer night with a brilliant full moon rising over the trees, or the infectious laughter of the girls on our left – I don’t know, but something snapped me out of it. “Come on, what are you thinking?” I thought. “What an opportunity this is! To be here, in this moment, in this particular place on the planet; to be transported to a simpler time – a village that really is a community, gathering in the park to watch a traveling show of kids perform their labor of love. Where you could buy a bag of popcorn for a quarter…”
When I thought about it, who cares what was being said? It was all about experiencing the miracle that is life.
We’re so addicted to knowing, in business and in life. Why? Because we live in an illusion that the more we know, the happier and more successful we’re going to be. But often times we’re just left stuck because, in the quest for having to know, we miss the opportunities right under our nose.
We miss living life.
The chances of me ending up in Stara Moravica, Serbia, is probably similar to winning the lottery. But on that night of the play, I was clear I was a winner and I was glad I didn’t need to know what they were saying.