This is the first in a series of articles Chaplain Doug Samples has shared called 10 Decisions for a Positive Attitude. Decision #1 is, "Decide to Choose Your Own Attitude." You can view all 10 decisions here.
“As a person with a chronic illness, I could easily stay in the pits of despair on a daily basis. However, being negative is just no fun for me.”
The PGS friend who shared this with me just a few short weeks ago is in a very small minority of people who have decided to choose their own attitude in spite of the daily battles she has to fight. If you are on the fence about whether you can choose your own attitude, you might feel trapped in the volatile circumstances of life.
When we live this kind of unpredictable, temperamental life it not only effects our life but also the lives of all those people around us who have to constantly make adjustments based on whether we are in a good mood or not. That’s a terrible way to live for both us and our friends.
Victor Frankl spent several months in Auschwitz, a WWII German Nazi concentration camp, where the daily regimen was brutally horrendous. His father died of exhaustion in one of the camps while his mother, wife and sister were murdered at Auschwitz.
As a Holocaust survivor, Frankl wrote Man’s Search For Meaning. One of Frankl’s quotes that has been most influential in regards to encouraging my conviction that we have the power to choose our attitudes is…
“The one thing you cannot take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
As the Chaplain for our SNU PGS Community, I want us to be shaped by these words from Victor Frankl! It is impossible for me (or God!) to go ahead of you in life and smooth out all your paths.
You and I are going to face situations that are unfair and cruel. We are going to be hurt and betrayed. We (or our loved ones) are going to get diagnosed from the doctor that devastate us.
No matter what life throws at me, I am still convinced that… The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.
What about you? Does this sound ridiculous to you? What is your reaction to Frankl? Is it possible for us to choose our own attitudes? Let me know your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org.