Back in Jr. High or High School, I was helping Dad on a job. After we left the job site, several miles down the road. He said, “Oh no! I left my tool bag on the tailgate!” He pulled over, and found that his tools had indeed fallen off the back of the truck.

We retraced our route, and Dad found the spot where they fell–but someone had already taken the tools (Dad found some clue left behind, perhaps a small tool, or something that had been run over and left).

I fully expected him to be very frustrated. Tools aren’t cheap. This was a significant loss–and an avoidable one, which is the hardest kind to stomach.

But he was so calm. I asked him, “Aren’t you upset?”

He said, “Dan, if you go into business, you have to be able to accept profit and loss. Sometimes things like this happen. It’s part of the cost of doing business.”

His nonchalance was not an irresponsible wasteful “Who cares?” Nor was it a cynical Murphy’s Law type of pessimism. It was wisdom. And it’s helped me multiple times in my life to attempt find that sweet spot of faith and practice that responds to profit and loss in an emotionally proportionate way–neither catastrophizing smaller things nor minimizing larger things.

Thanks Dad. I like your tool bag.