I just watched an episode of the Andy Griffith Show (first aired in January of 1964) in which Andy and Helen and Barney and Thelma Lou went on a picnic. Unfortunately for Andy, Helen, and Thelma Lou, earlier in the morning Barney had an embarrassing experience and was in a bad mood. Because of his foul mood, Barney was a wet blanket on the others and almost ruined the picnic for the other three.
Have you ever done anything like that? I have and I am sorry. I remember times when our children were young and I allowed my frustration and stress in getting ready to go ruin the first part of an outing or even vacation.
Before I saw Barney’s downer attitude on TV I had heard a song I thought said “don’t bring me down” that reminded me of times when my attitude and actions brought others down and others have done the same for me. The correct lyrics “can’t bring me down” do not change my request to others “don’t bring me down” or my desire to not bring others down. To me, allowing your bad luck, bad day, or bad mood to rob the joy of those with you in whatever you’re doing is simply being selfish.
I play a lot of golf and sometimes don’t play very well. And when a person enjoys golf as much as I do, to struggle with your game can be disconcerting. Long ago I made the decision that because of my poor play I would not allow my attitude to ruin it for the guys I’m playing with. I wish everyone I play with would make the same decision.
Here are a couple of quotes (edited) from an article by Phil Cooke entitled Stop Wallowing in Negativity and Constant Complaining that sheds light on the issue. “We must be very careful about wallowing in our disappointments and frustrations because negativity can easily build momentum. Don’t let your frustrations and your complaining take control. Find the positive and learn to see the good. You’ll find your attitude will change, and before long you’ll become a positive voice.”
The title of this post is a request for all of us to give some thought to our attitude and actions when things are not going the way we wish they would. Are we going to be selfish and bring others down and ruin things for them? I hope not.
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photo credit: Semtrio Silver Iphone 6 – Credit to https://www.semtrio.com/ via photopin (license)
Thanks, Bob.Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Bob, I plead guilty. I confess that I have been that wet blanket, mostly when I was younger. As I have gotten older I halve learned to try to be in the moment and enjoy. I still fail but your post made me recount the many blessings I have enjoyed this year. Aside from the obvious, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see my grandchildren compete in their sports and even take them to practice on a regular basis. What a special time that is. It made me stop and think that I cannot or should not be in a bad mood but rather enjoy the blessings that surround me every day from a wonderful God who blesses me abundantly. I will try to do better. Thank you for a very thought provoking post.
This is good!
Don’t I wish I has this wisdom when I was younger???!!! Definitely using it now!!!
Your blog got me thinking about my last 30 years.
The example of Barney’s mindset and how it impacted his friends was good.
When I went to LA Metro in 1990, I was very quickly astonished how bad the organization was. The falsification of documents, lying, and deceit was shocking, for anything negative. Careers were ended for the good guys trying to bring integrity into the organization. Many people were hurt over the years and in some cases people were killed in preventable accidents.
One by one, a core group of guys put their careers on the line by challenging the culture (being negative) and made a difference.
In another situation, I had a chance to work with a whole bunch of ministers for many years; a lot a great men of God.
In 1999, my church of over 30 years hired a new minister, after an unfortunate and very poorly executed separation of a long term wonderful minister and man of God.
I was one of the first to challenge the new minister (I admit I was negative). He demanded absolute loyalty to him and him alone and demonized anyone who would not comply. I was very disappointed to watch my brothers in Christ, who I worked so close with for so many years, close their eyes and put their head in the sand, for the sake of “unity” and the fear of being called negative. I made of regretful decision to leave this church as not to create division.
Fast forward, a church of 2,200 collapsed to 500 and neared insolvency.
When I worked with Floyd Strater with the SCEA, he sent me to assist about 7 different churches that were in trouble. Being tactfully negative was the only way these churches were able to be helped. Hopeful I was more helpful than hurtful.
Bottom line, when things are wrong, naming it, confronting it, of challenging it may require one to be negative. The challenge is when to hold and when to fold.
I probably went off track from your intent, but some thoughts.
John Roberts Sent from my iPhone