Sunday, July 31

A "Recipe " for life

Natalie and her husband Duncan are enthusiastic members of our Malawi Support Group and Natalie recently helped organise a very successful jewellry presentation evening at Mike and Wendy Wilsons gallery. At each Malawi meeting we begin with a different "refection" prepared by a member. This is Natalies reflection which she has entited : you have 2 choices:

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply,
"If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant
Why?, because Jerry was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him.

"I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood.

I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it.
Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy, I protested."
"Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice."
You choose how you react to situations.
You choose how people will affect your mood.
You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.
It's your choice how you live your life."

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business. He left the back door of his restaurant open
And then ???
In the morning, he was robbed by three armed men.
They want?

While Jerry was trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him.
Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared I asked?"

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine.
But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.
In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.'
I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything."
'Yes,' I replied.
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.
I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'

Over their laughter, I told them,
'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.
"Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude."

I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours -- that no one can control or take from you- is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.


minddance said...

Your friend's attitude is certainly remarkable and worth admiring. But just for a counter view:

Optimism is no doubt easier to hang out with than pessimism, but that doesn't mean it is better than pessimism. It wouldn't be healthy for humanity if everyone were optimists! Some people naturally see the bright side, and other people naturally see the not so bright side. Both can offer very effective life strategies.

Research shows that it can be quite damaging for those who are able to strategize effectively through negative thinking to be forced to think positive. So it may not be as much about choice as you suggest. There have been reports that positive thinkers outlive negative thinkers. But it isn't negative thinking that kills people more quickly but rather society's negative views about negative thinking that makes it so difficult for pessimists that creats the shortened lifespan. They are constantly being told not to be who it is they are.

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

In the No

And you know what they say: a pessimist is just well informed optimist.

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi Laura
Thanks for your usual insightful comments. You quite correctly identify the dangers of over reliance on optimism and the need for balance. I agree its necessary to accept that some of us will lean towards either a postive or negative outlook on aspects of life and how we view society.I see the dangers of an over reliance on an optimistc attitude at times in the corporate world, where dissentors can be incorrectly labelled negative people and hence real concerns,legitimate ones, can be swept under the carpet.

Bar Bar A said...


Thanks for stopping by my site and pinning your flag :) I am glad you did because your site here is wonderful and I will be back.

I love the story about the positive attitude and somedays I manage to choose to have one, others I just can't do it. But it definitley affects everyone around us!

I also appreciate the comments from the person who posted above.