Call me a wimp if you must but a 14+ hour day, 190 miles driven (mostly in the dark), and navigating around an unfamiliar city in the rush hour aren’t really the things I would choose to include on a fun day out.

But the choice of city and therefore journey length and time of day were determined for us by external events and so we decided to make the best of it and try and enjoy ourselves. And, somewhat surprisingly, we did end up enjoying the things we undertook.

Its a fact of modern life that events outside our control are often huge factors in the decisions we make. Very rarely do we get to make a decision, large or small, without any outside influence.

Sometimes we rail and fight against such influences. Other times, such as us today, we make the most of them. Sometimes they excite us. Other times they anger or upset us. But try as we might, we will always have to respond in some way, either practically, emotionally, or both.

I think it can be healthy, in some circumstances, to fight, to make ones’ voice heard. It is fundamentally wrong for someone to expect another to lie back and accept injustice or cruelty or nastiness of any sort.

But in other cases, where there is nothing that you can do, perhaps discretion is the better part of valour. It can be wiser to calmly ‘go with it’.

The challenge, a challenge as old as humankind, is of course to know the difference. So, as the old prayer goes,

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.