How a gas station parking lot prevented a know-it-all teen from knowing it all

I remember the exact moment I discovered wisdom. Do you? I was thirteen years old, riding the city bus down Bank Street, back in Ottawa. Where were you? The bus stopped for a red light at Gladstone, and I watched through the window as an elderly man gave the fabric of his pant legs – just above both knees – a small tug before bending down to pick up a dropped something in a gas station parking lot. For curiosities sake, I tried it out for myself that afternoon. Sure enough, the extra slack turned out to be a revelation. It was a humbling moment. There on my knees, I was forced to admit how little I really knew about life.


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