Thursday, January 12, 2017
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett
This is a story about a friend of mine that I recently found on Facebook after not being in contact for over thirty years. I’ve changed his name and few other details but the story is true and the message is real. It happened in the Los Angeles area. He taught me something important—maybe this little account will teach you a bit.
My friend John is one of the most positive people I had ever known. He is always in a good mood and always has something encouraging to say. In those days, he was a manager at a fast-food restaurant where things went wrong every day. If an employee had a bad day, John always helped him or her to look on the positive side of the situation. His attitude truly amazed me. So one day I asked him: “How can you be so positive all the time?” He said, “It’s simple. Every morning I tell myself, that I have two choices for that day—to be in a good mood or in a bad mood. I always choose the good one, and when something wrong happens, I can be sad and angry or I can learn from it instead. I choose to learn. I always choose the positive side of life.” I said, “But it’s not that easy.” “Yes, it is,” he replied, “Yes it is. Life is all about choices. You can choose how people or a situation will affect your mood, your life. That’s up to you.”
One morning John left the restaurant’s back door open and he was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. He tried to open the safe, but his hands shook due to nervousness, and he slipped off the combination. So the robbers shot him. Fortunately, John was quickly found and brought to the nearest hospital. After many hours of surgery and long intensive care, John was released to go home.
When I met him again, I asked what his thoughts were during the robbery. “I thought that I should have locked the back door,” he replied. “Then, when I was lying on the floor, I remembered about my choices in this case: a choice to live and a choice to die. I chose to live.” I asked, if he was scared. John said, “When they wheeled me into emergency room and I looked at the faces of doctors, I got truly scared. I knew that I needed to do something. So when the nurse asked me if I was allergic to anything, I replied “Yes.” Doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my answer. I took a deep breath and yelled, “Bullets!” They started laughing and I told them, “My choice is to live, treat me as if I am alive, not dead.” John is alive today thanks to the skill of his doctors, however his amazing attitude played an important role, too. He taught me that every day we should choose to live life fully no matter what. Christ told us to do the same thing. He told us no one knew when everything would end, so we should live each day in imitation of Him and in service to others. Choose life and life abundant and choose the good and the positive. It will change not only you, but those around you as well.