I believe in the power of attitude. I believe we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent of how I react to it. I think that all situations are only temporary, as a wise friend once used to tell me during hard times: “this too shall pass”. My parents went through a very rough divorce when I was in middle school. On rare occasion would my sisters and I come home without a black car in the drive with yellow letters on the side. By day our house was filled with screaming and yelling, by night I’d hear sobs in the living room from my bedroom door. My younger sister and I were constantly being drug into my parents fights and put in the middle of it all. The night my Dad was taken from our house, I was devastated and filled with anger and guilt. My attitude was negative towards the situation and towards the world, which therefore had a negative impact on my life. However, it was just recently that I finally realized that in the depths of winter there was in me an invincible summer. I had control over my attitude and how I could react to my situation.
My old friend Max who had moved away in sixth grade helped me realize this over the summer. His dad suffered from Lugarics disease and he passed away in July. At the funeral, Max wasn’t sad-looking or depressed, but smiling as he greeted each visitor. When I asked how he was he replied: “I’m doing really well”. Not a response you’d expect from someone whose father passed away and was probably very miserable about his loss. However, it was in this moment I realized the importance of attitude on life. At least I still had my parents, I should be grateful, realizing that my situation could be considerably worse. Now I see that it’s not what’s taken away from you that counts, it’s what you do with what you have left We cannot change how other people act, or whatever might’ve happened in our past. We cannot change the inevitable. The one thing we can do however is control our attitude. Life can be a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. Many people see the glass always half empty or the weather as always partly cloudy, rather than partly sunny. I believe all of us have the choice each day within ourselves to create a positive attitude and outlook on the world. It is through these thoughts and the power of our own minds we can create our own happiness. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.