A Single String – On Attitude

See Life

See Life (Photo credit: Lel4nd)Political Scientist Alex Tan said, “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.”

Political Scientist Alex Tan said, “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.”

(This is an update on a 2012 post near that year’s election…seems like a good time to recycle and update, and relook at it.)

A week ago tonight, after all the nastiness of the campaign,  the Presidential Election was held and resolved.  Some would say I am a political junkie. I read and watch politics a lot, but don’t worry, this is not a political blog or discussion. What really has been more striking to me this week has been the reactions of some people to the election and to others in the news living with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

the-roman-forum ruins copyI have heard discussions and read posts by folks who seem to feel that the loss of the election was a kind of beginning to the end. One posted comments about the fall of the Roman Empire. Of course others, those who won, celebrated as if the salvation of the world had come.  The truth is probably neither extreme will likely prove true.  Still, the heights and depths that people experienced from the same event is directly connected to viewpoint and attitude. And it is attitude that interests me.

60 Minutes

60 Minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday night we watched a segment on Sixty Minutes on a beach community, Belle Harbor, where many houses burned after the area was inundated by the recent hurricane. Like others hurt by Sandy many were without power, without heat, and some were homeless. The fortitude and positive attitude showcased was amazing. Despite terrible loss, the community was pulling together, and those interviewed were moving forward, cleaning up, even if they were unsure where the future would lead.

glass half full emptyAnd of course these events come on top of the last several years of economic struggles, during which along with 10% of North Carolina I was unemployed for more than a year. Again it seems like there are very distinct ways that people have reacted to these tough times.  I think all of us have defaults set to cup half-full or cup half-empty positions.

Some time ago in the much less deep recession in the 90s I had to lay off some staff due to funding cuts and close cases to families as a result. Thanks to a great exec and a phenomenal staff we came up with answers for our clients and ourselves.

be positiveAt that time I stumbled across a quote that has stuck with me through subsequent times of trial. It is by Charles Swindoll, and though a little long I think it is worth reading.

“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 the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, 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. cello adjustment copyThe remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change 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.”

meditation beliefHow powerful that one string is! He’s right. The past is done and cannot be changed by regret or second guessing it. The future can be built by choices made in the present but still is unknowable. But today, today is where we live. And we can actually decide how we experience it, even if we are natural half-cup people.  We can look at the vagaries of life, the losses, the problems, and choose to be happy anyway. We can live and love and laugh in the now, despite everything.

guitar chord copyAnd even if we only have one string, we can play it for all we’re worth, adding our note to the plinks of others, creating a symphony.

So pluck away my friends! It will make all the difference.

About joanneeddy

Writer living in North Carolina. Originally from upstate New York. I love my family, my community, and my friends, and embrace 'living deliberately' in the world, trying to make a difference. I have written an as yet unpublished book, The Call, an epic fantasy with historical fiction and folklore elements. My blog is for other writers, for those who love a good read, and for all who, like me, are looking to find and live their call.
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4 Responses to A Single String – On Attitude

  1. Marianne says:

    Hi Joanne, thank you for reblogging one of my posts – it’s much appreciated! 🙂 //Marianne


  2. How true. We must definitely learn not to live in the past and live in the present.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rbaldwin0204 says:

    Thanks for sharing this post, Jo. It’s a lovely reminder about how much our attitude impacts our lives and the lives of others.

    Liked by 1 person

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