Saturday, July 26, 2008

Small Powerful Choices

Each day is a series of small choices that seem insignificant at the moment, but which actually affect not just us but those with whom we connect, and maybe those with whom they connect.

I'm thinking of the choice at any given moment, between thinking negatively, speakng a word of criticism or complaint; or taking the road of gratitude and appreciation.

What started me thinking about this was an interview I heard on the radio this week. A comedian was the guest and I admired the way he managed to keep the interview positive. He said that he gets most of his material from reflecting on our culture, in which most of us have no idea how good we have it and tries to point that out by finding humour in the ludicrous; for example, someone getting frustrated by the fact that a computer takes 12 seconds to boot up, or how we have lengthy deliberations over where to eat out; "We had pizza yesterday, I don't want to have it again, let's have Chinese; no, let's have Greek, I feel like Greek tonight."

Pete called this morning and asked, "How are things Mom?" There was a split second when I had a choice and this time I made the right one; "this time" because so often I don't. It felt good to have chosen laughter and lightheartedness and to bless his weekend with a few endorphins released into his system. Apparently endorphins are more powerful than morphine and give an overall sense of well being.

There is a Facebook group that I stumbled upon, called, The Optimistic and Enthusiastic. Today this message was posted there"

Why Think Positively? All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious. We are in control, whether we know it or not. Aim high and do your best We can be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive. The biggest difference between people is their attitudes. For some, learning is enjoyable and exciting. For others, learning is a drudgery. For many, learning is just okay, something required on the road to a job.

In the same vein, I read Psalm 106 today, in which the anonymous psalmist repents on behalf of himself and his people for a lack of gratitude and appreciation for all that God has done and exhorts us to praise God.

Psalm 106:1 (New International Version)
1 Praise the LORD.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

6 We have sinned, even as our fathers did;
we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
7 When our fathers were in Egypt,

they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
.
13 ...they soon forgot what he had done

and did not wait for his counsel.

When we notice, focus on and discuss the negative, we lose joy and spread gloom. It is sin, for we have so much to be grateful for. So, as I start a new day tomorrow, I will aim to bring joy to those I am with, and be grateful.

48 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, "Amen!"
Praise the LORD.

6 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

I am right there with you, I choose to be positive. I have a choice about how I react to the world. Yes I see the negative, I see what needs to be done, but I see so much more than that. My writing is often criticized for being too optimistic, for not being angry enough. I am over 50, I simply don't have the energy to be angry all the time. Joy is just so much easier to lift up.

Belinda said...

I'm glad it resonated.

Here's to today, and in aiming to find the joy and laughter in each moment as it comes--and somehow it counts most when it's a real choice and it could have gone the other way.

Joyful Fox said...

Belinda,

Your title is so catchy and easy to remember, "Small powerful choices."

Over the past week, I fell into complaining and speaking about the negative a few times. It didn't feel good. Afterwards I thought of those on the listening end and went "ouch".

Unfortunately I fell into an unwise choice and regretted it afterwards.

With those experiences and your wise reminder, I hope to chose differently next time.

I have been negligent with my Gratitude Journal over the summer and when I was writing in it regularly, I sure felt more joyful.

Gratitude is contagious, as is a whining spirit. May I join you in spreading joy and thankfulness. It is a privilege to bless others with joy!

Thanks for the post.

Susan said...

But sometimes we really and truly get beaten up by life. And we need the help of our friends to get back up. You're not advocating faking it, are you? Or are you saying, "Choose your attitude, your feelings will follow..."?

Yes, I think that must be it. But if a friend is really and truly struggling, I sure don't want them to pretend they're not. I want them to trust me enough to be real about where they're at and how they're feeling. I just may have the answer they need. Or they may have the answer I need...

Susan said...

P.S. I'm full of joy in Cornwall!

Belinda said...

Dear Susan,
No, I wasn't advocating faking it. As I wrote recently in a post entitled, "A Burden Shared," we do need to share our troubles with a friend and our hearts and our loads are more than halved when we do.

Here I was more writing about "choosing your attitude" and remembering to be grateful; making a choice to focus on the positive and look for the lightheartedness and humour in situations.