Looking back, then forward to 2004
Published: Friday, December 26th, 2003
Just as we almost become accustomed to one year, we rush right into the next. As a result, each year seems to blend into the next and leaves us wondering what happened when. If we listen to the news or read it, we might get the idea that each year is worse than the next. Also, if we listen to those with negative attitudes, we might begin to believe that good things don’t happen. We could become rather depressed were we to pay more attention to the negative than to the positive people. Some seem to think it isn’t popular to have something good to say about what is going on in our lives. Of course, we have bad news at times just as we have unpleasant experiences in our lives, but we need to dwell on the pleasant experiences in order to overcome the unpleasant ones. If we concentrate on ourselves and our problems, we forget that those around us may have more reasons for concern than we have. By getting out of ourselves, we can begin to see just how fortunate we really are. By looking back over each day as it ends, we can see that many good things have happened and can be most thankful. Sometimes, we may have to think a little harder than usual to remember the good, but if we will pause for a few minutes, we will recall them and place them before the upsetting happenings. Also, if we will begin the day with a positive attitude, we are apt to enjoy our surroundings. Many of us were fortunate enough to have parents who were affirmative and who wanted us to follow their lead. Mother began each day by wishing us a good morning and by smiling at us the minute we entered the kitchen. Even if some of us were a bit grouchy at the time, her smile was contagious and caused us to return it. My dad and I were apt to be a bit foggy until we had our first sip of coffee, but we usually recovered rapidly as Mother began a cheerful conversation about plans or about what had happened the day before. In a short time, we were able to add our own pleasant comments and to be ready to face the day. By learning early in life that our attitudes determine our behavior, we can find the good things and go forward or find the bad things and be miserable. We have that choice and can choose to be reasonably happy or completely miserable. This woman from Ima most definitely prefers to focus on happiness rather than on misery. Besides, I have learned that few people want to listen to negative ideas without adding even more negative ones in order to top the speaker. Have you noticed, for instance, that you can mention a minor problem, and many listeners will dismiss it by talking about how much worse theirs is than yours? I often play that little game just to study people and their reaction. We can make 2004 a pleasant year if we wish. Yes, we will have some problems and worries, but we can concentrate on the beauty around us and enjoy much of each day. Happy New Year!
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