Attitude and gratitude are certainly two laws that can make a difference in our lives. I am still working part time as a teacher in high schools and I put these words up on the blackboard. I ask the students what, if anything, these words mean to them. The word “attitude” many will think is your temperment or the way your respond in either a positive or negative way. Teens with “attitude” is often a picture of shrugging shoulders, raised eye brows and words like, “So what?” or “Who cares?” I accept this as an answer. I also present another way to interrpret the word.
Attitude can be a person’s response in a positive or negative way, but they take ownership for their decision. A person can control how he or she feels most of the time. There is an attitude towards caring or not caring. There is an attitude towards individualism or collective caring. Are you and I are brothers/sisters keepers or is it every person for themselves? How can a person control or refocus their attitude? This is where the second word “gratitude” kicks in.
Gratitude is being conscious of what is good in our lives. Just as we fail to “smell the flowers”, we often overlook flowers, trees, blue sky, and people who can be our friends. I tell my students about a trip my spouse and I made to India. From a taxi window, I saw a home that was composed of a tarp with a stick and bricks to support it. A mother squatted to cook on a propane stove while a child sat naved on the pavement. A big white bucket of water was their shower for washing, water for cooking and other needs. They were on the sidewalk. I tell my students that if I am having a bad day, gratitude kicks in when I remember India. I get out of a warm bed that is in a peaceful country, shower, turn the tap for water for coffee and open a fridge.
Attitude and gratitude can be like an open hand. It is offered. It can be refused or accepted. It is my opinion that there are far more positive people in the world than negative. The media often misses the loving and kind people who live quietly.