There is nothing either good or bad
but thinking makes it so.
As the dawn breaks on another season of the Stratford Festival, it’s this quote from Hamlet, scene
II, act ii, that has my brain careening off in different directions looking for more. What we think
about, we do. Why is such a simple display of attitude driving me mad? Each day we see displays
of people thinking the wrong things and choosing the wrong attitudes. Earl Nightengale says,
“We become what we think about.”
The man is visibly upset...
about some perceived wrong and he wants the waiter in the restaurant to
suffer for it. So the man starts haranguing the waiter. “We’re out of water,..... get more
rolls,....the food is cold,......” Each demand more insistent, more rude. The waiter becomes more
defensive, more brusque, getting more flustered as the agonizing dinner stretches to the point of
I sit, as one of the dinner guests of this man, and am progressively more embarrassed and angered
by this man’s garroting of the waiter. Does he think treating anyone this way will improve the
service he will receive?
Charles Swindoll, American broadcaster says, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of
attitude on life. Attitude , to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than
education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people
think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break
a company……a church……a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday
regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the fact that people will act
in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one
string we have, and that is our attitude……I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me
and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you……we are in charge of our attitudes!”
The choice of a more positive, more forgiving attitude would have seen my dinner host enjoy not
only his meal more, but probably his whole evening, maybe his whole life. What a waste of energy
a bad attitude is. How do you react to situations in your life? Which attitude do you choose? The
strange thing about my dinner host and probably the thing that bugs me most is that he thought he
had won! What attitude will he choose next? To quote Buddha, “The mind is everything. What
we think we become.