I think I have developed a case of writer’s block. I generally only post to my blog once a week now, so you would think it would be EASY to come up with an interesting topic. Not so. I have toyed with the ideas of blogging about:
-The bruise on my big toenail
-Almond milk (which, by the way, contains exactly the same amount of calcium as 1% cow’s milk!)
But instead, I would like to tell you a story. Whenever I am giving a public talk, I often will start with this story, as I see no better way of illustrating the POWER of having a positive attitude.
There was once an old man who lived on the outskirts of a small town. He loved to sit outside on his porch each day, rock in his rocking chair, smoke his pipe and watch the people come and go from his town. One day as he was sitting outside, he noticed a young man approaching him. This man was walking slowly, head down, kicking rocks as he shuffled along.
He stopped and spoke to the old man: “I come from the factory town up the road. You may have heard about us, the factory just shut down and many of my townspeople are out of work. We have to leave our town and try to find work elsewhere, but before I move to a town, I would like to know first what the people are like. So old man, what are the people like in your town?”
The old man took a long draw on his pipe and replied, “Well son, you tell me first. What are the people like in the town you come from?”
“Oh they are a terrible lot of people”, replied the young man. “Thieves and cut-throats. Not an honest man among them. They would never do anything to help a person in need. In fact, I am sort of glad I don’t have to live there anymore!”
The old man nodded thoughtfully and said, “Son, I think you will find the people are the same in this town.”
The young man continued along the road out of town, and shortly after the old man saw another young man approaching him. This young man however, was whistling a tune as he skipped along. He stopped and spoke to the old man.
“Hello sir,” he said, “I come from the factory town up the road. You probably know that our factory closed down and many people are looking for work and a place to move their families. This looks like a good town, with plenty of work,but first sir, I would like to know, what are the people like in your town?”
Again, the old man paused and said, “Tell me son, what are the people like in the town you come from?”
“Oh they are a lovely lot of people!” said the young man, “so kind and neighbourly. They would do anything to help you out in a time of need. They are good, honest, hard- working people. I really hate to leave that town, but I need to find work.”
The old man smiled and said, “Son, I think you will find the people are the same in this town.”
When I was blogging 100 perks of having cancer, I talked a lot about the power of positive thinking. This is a topic which can be controversial in the world of cancer. Some would say that the pressure from society to maintain a positive attitude while going through something as horrific as cancer can weigh heavily on those diagnosed. Then there is the myth that a positive attitude can cure cancer, which implies that if you die from cancer, your attitude was not positive enough. So I can see where the whole idea of a positive attitude with regards to cancer gets a bad rap.
That said I have never seen anyone be hurt by a positive attitude. And while it does not guarantee a longer life, focusing on the positives in any situation will ensure a happier life. The wise old man knew something. He knew that these two young men, who were obviously from the same town, would take something with them wherever they went: their attitude. One was sure to find happiness and goodness in any town, while the other would find only doom and gloom. What would you find?