Can something so small make a big difference

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford
The title above is a question that I have wondered about over the last week. It is a question that I have begun to ask myself as I have watched and listened to those around me. Before attempting to ask the answer the question, the first thing I should tell you is what I am referring to, which is our attitudes. Attitudes are things so small, yet they have such an impact on our lives and those around us.
Having an attitude, whether positive or negative is second nature, just as breathing. Do you ever stop and check to make sure you have your attitude before heading out the door? Of course not; I would venture to guess you probably never think about. Unfortunately, that may be the biggest problem in our lives today, we never think about it and how it is affecting those around us.
Sunday, I went to a local restaurant and bought two salads. The restaurant was in a rush and in my opinion was training some new employees. I had ordered a pay per-view movie before leaving my home, which was going to start in about 10 minutes. After paying for my purchase I was asked to move up and wait, since the salads had to be made, all the while steadily I watched the clock. During my wait, I watched that 10 minutes plus more come and go. Finally, I received my order and I was out of there. When I got home, I found that I was not given any salad dressing or croutons.
I called and went back to the restaurant, which made restitution, but never once did I smile. I was upset and I wanted them to know it. Looking back, I think the only thing I proved is that my attitude can get the better of me, when left unchecked. And what did I accomplish with my attitude, better service next time? I don't think so, probably only made a difficult day for someone a little more difficult.
Since I began this expedition into human behavior with a major in attitudes, I find myself describing an attitude as one of two things. I know it sounds cheesy but you can view your attitude as either a bright light or a dark virus. As a bright light, your attitude will shine to others around you brightening their day; remember a smile is just as contagious as a yawn. Or your attitude can have the characteristics of a dark virus. It will spread to others; your coworkers, customers, friends and family infecting them in an attempt to try and turn their attitudes bitter.
I believe it is the serenity prayer that states, "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." I guess the answer to my original question is due to its contagious nature; our attitudes make such an impact. For myself, I hope that each day no matter what comes at me, I will be able to keep my attitude in check, so that it is as apparent to me as it is to everyone around me.
Chuck Bodiford is the Publisher of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email:

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