A Choice

Our attitude towards everything is what motivates us in everyday situations. However, we also have a choice of how to present our attitude. You will often find yourself groaning out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom, and criticizing yourself in the mirror. You get to school or work, and you immediately start judging the people who are there but “smiling” anyways and asking how they are doing. We want to accomplish our tasks and get on with our day. We ask questions even when we do not really care about the actual person. 

Questions are essential but why we ask the question is even more important. If we know someone is having a bad day, we should not quickly ask them something when we do not truly care. The same applies to when we are given a job. Many times we do not really care enough to think things through. Instead, we ask many useless questions that hinder the job from getting done quickly and efficiently. There is a story about a man named Rowan, “McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, ‘Where is he at?'” Rowan isn’t the sort of man who asks others how he should go about his tasks. He isn’t someone who seeks answers from others about things that he can determine himself. 

Rowan’s attitude towards being asked to deliver the letter was remarkable. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll. Rowan could have reacted horrendously. He could have asked hundreds of questions. Where? Why? When? However, instead, he took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, and proceeded to deliver the message to Garcia. 

Don’t you wish that we could react the same way Rowan did? When our parents ask us to do something, we always respond with “why?”. We never say right away yes, mom, I would be glad to. Instead, we respond with a question. Why do we ask questions? Some people ask questions because they are afraid that they are getting the answers wrong, so they want your opinion. People also tend to ask questions they already know because they typically do not want the responsibility of knowing the answer. 

When we walk into a room, we tend to want to run to the closest person we know. We often want to shrink into a ball and not talk much (or at least this is from personal experience). I do not particularly appreciate having to talk to people sometimes; it is hard to think of things. You can only get so far with “how are you?” and our attitude towards the conversation really shows the person if we care or not. Recently I was talking to a woman from our church, and she REALLY likes to talk like really. Instead of listening, though, I found my attitude growing annoyed at her, and all I really wanted to do was get up and leave the conversation. Then I remembered Charles Swindoll’s quote. “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” I sadly then realized that I was a jerk in the conversation. I was not making her feel listened to. Instead, I showed her the typical stereotype of a teenager…arrogant, impatient, unfocused, and totally not encouraging.

“We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” – Charles Swindoll. Our attitude is our responsibility. Our attitude is our problem and ours alone. I find myself judging people and how they react around me and how dumb and stupid their questions are, but then I look at myself. I reevaluate my thoughts and actions, and I see that every day I ask the same ridiculous things and bother those in charge with random meaningless questions that I could figure out myself. 

Instead, I challenge myself now when I am in a conversation with my friends and family and people I may not get along with. I look them in the eyes, and I pay attention to their ideas. I allow them to talk, and even though sometimes I find myself getting bored and not paying attention, I try to remember that they want to be heard too, and that is one of the only gifts I will ever give them.

Have a great day everyone!

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