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Sometimes Typhoons Come

Tonight half of southern Japan is hunched down awaiting the arrival of the typhoon. This is #15 for the Pacific region this year, and the third one in about six weeks to come our way.

By the way, if you’re not quite sure what a typhoon is, it’s the Asian name for tropical storms or hurricanes.

Our little town of about 18,000 has only one industry — its white beach — and it waits all year for the two hottest summer months when hundreds of thousands of vacationers come from all over Japan to lie in the sun and play in the peaceful little bay.

And this particular night, the town had planned its annual fireworks display. They have something called “Message Fireworks” where a visitor pays up to a hundred dollars for somebody to read an announcement of his undying love just before a volley of fireworks are fired off. This one event raises many thousands of dollars for the town.

In addition, the local merchants make a sizeable part of their yearly profit during the summer months.

But tonight the beach is dark. No fireworks will dazzle the crowds tonight. No concession booths will sell snacks, and no families will congregate to enjoy the summertime display.

All those plans. All the money invested in food, in merchandise, in giant fireworks that shoot two hundred meters into the air.

So when a typhoon comes — and no amount of “positive thinking” will stop it happening from time to time — the merchants here just sigh, suck it up, and go to Plan B, which is to try again tomorrow night. And if that doesn’t work, then next weekend.

You see, they’ve seen it all before. They know that sometimes things WILL get in the way of their plans. So they stay flexible. They have contingencies, Plan B’s and even Plan C’s.

Now, the point I’m making is not that weather is a doggone nuisance.

Instead, I invite you to consider one question: how flexible are you prepared to be? (The operative word is “prepared”.)

When stuff happens — and it will — what’s your Plan B and your Plan C? Don’t have one? Then shouldn’t you think about getting one?

Because stuff WILL happen. That’s just the way life brings you special opportunities you never expected, never imagined, and never wanted. But once life brings it on, you need to be prepared to deal with it.

Like a boy scout, you need to be prepared with backup plans.

But to have a backup plan, you first need a main plan. And of course you’ve got one of those… right?

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