We often read in self-help or leadership books the importance of a person’s attitude.
I am reminded of a time many years ago when a man walked into our church after the worship service. He had a clipboard from which he began to quiz me about all the things our church would do for him. He finally ended his examination of me with one final question. He said, “Tell me what your church will do for me?” My answer was short. I said, “Nothing, with that attitude.”
The famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often said in his speeches to large gatherings of business and professional people, “What most people need is a kick in the can'ts.” Thinking back on that quote from Zig, the root of much that is wrong in our world comes down to attitude. This is not an invitation to ignore troubling or bad things happening in life but it is a reminder that we have control over our response to the bad or troubling things that happen.
It is no secret that I am disappointed in the way our country is headed. I watch with dismay at the way people are making wrong decisions about their personal life and about what they think they are entitled to. At this time of the year when we should be seeing people of good cheer and happiness highlighted as they are willing to spread their good spirit with all others in whom they come in contact, instead we are hearing about rage, violence, murder and mayhem. I have to believe that there are far more positive thinking people with good attitudes than we are being told about. When we look at the vast numbers of people in our nation, a very few ever strike out in violence against others, yet the violent ones are highlighted in the news.
This column is not to be misunderstood as a plea to ignore the bad and only talk about the good. That would, of course, be inviting you to stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is all right in the world. Twelve years ago this week, I was inside North Korea. It was truly an eye-opening experience of a lifetime. We think we have it bad and that we have poverty with many people in need but we are all, even the poorest of us, wealthy compared to the average person living inside that country. Yet, with all of the poverty and great needs, I met people with good attitudes about where they were and what they were doing. That trip proved to me that no matter where a person is or what is happening to them or other people around them, attitude makes all the difference in responding to the circumstances.
From where I stand, we need the attitude that we are going to make the best of what we have and that we are going to have a Merry Christmas this year.
What will help you have a positive attitude this Christmas? Tell us in comments.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter at @RayNewmanSr.