Summary: How often have you heard someone say, “I’m just in a bad mood today”? How often have you said it?
How often have you heard someone say, “I’m just in a bad mood today”? How often have you said it? And would you not agree that part of the unspoken implication in that statement is: “I am therefore excused from any responsibility for anything that I might say or do while in this mood?” Is that not what we expect from people after we have made the pronouncement that we are in a bad mood? It’s like a disclaimer. It’s like we’re given a special privilege card that states we are excused from being held accountable for words, actions or responses while we are in this mood. So no longer can someone say to us: “That was a mean thing or inappropriate thing you said” or “That was uncalled for” or “That was wrong of you to do that or say that or respond the way you did” - no longer can someone say that to b/c in essence we are saying to them, “Normally you would be right in correcting me, but today I have this special privilege card that excuses me b/c I am in a bad mood.” Now obviously we don’t actually state this out loud, but people do have this kind of expectation of others - that expectation being - they should excuse & tolerate me today b/c I am in a bad mood. Problem is, we are not so forgiving when it’s the other person who is in a bad mood. Remember that little saying I’ve shared with you through the years: We make rules for others & exceptions for ourselves.
My reason for bringing all this up is for the purpose of discussing attitudes. We can be creatures of incredible mood swings. And we can allow circum-stances & people, even the weather to determine what kind of attitude we are going to have throughout a given day. Just think how often you have allowed your attitude to be manipulated or determined by circumstances, by a particular situation, by other people. That attitude may be one of being down, depressed, angry, frustrated, cranky (don’t bother mom/dad today, she’s in 1 of those moods), or lazy in that you just don’t want to do what needs to be done today. Attitudes. And as I said we allow circum-stances, situations & people to determine what kind of attitude we’re going to have.
There is a wonderful little true story called - “Transformation in an Elevator” - In the days before self-operating elevators, there was a lady who was an elevator operator in a large university in Japan. She could think of no more monotonous work than operating an elevator all day long. She was miserable & grumbled every time someone spoke to her.
One day it occurred to her that she could influence the young students to a brighter way of seeing life, but to do that she would have to change her own attitude towards life! So the next day she started with a smile on her face. It was extremely difficult for her, but by sheer will power she was determined to cheer up whoever rode in her elevator – so she began to practice that. Well, people noticed & as the years went by more & more people sought advice from her! Many were helped by her bright attitude & her optimistic view of life. She became a “Solver of Problems” as she was called.
When she finally died, a couple thousand people attended her funeral. She gained her “fame” b/c she changed her attitude about life, about her situation & desired the bright side for her, & for those with whom she came in contact. She refused to let her situation dictate or determine her attitude. And even though her situation didn’t change, she changed. Attitudes!
Someone has said, “There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it with reluctance.” Haven’t you found that to be true? If you come at a situation, if you face a circumstance with a negative or disgruntled or a self-pitying type of attitude - does it not just make the whole thing that much worse?
But anyway, this elevator operator changed her whole outlook on life, change how people looked at her & even opened up an important ministry you could say - all b/c she chose to change her attitude even though her situation didn’t change. But it did change how she looked at it, didn’t it - and then freed her up to impact & help others. Attitudes!
So let me take you back to a Thursday afternoon, January 27, 2000. That Thursday afternoon I got involved in 1 of those situations that can quickly turn a day sour & “put you in a bad mood”.
This was 5 months before moving into our house across the street & for those of you who don’t know, we were living downtown in a 100+ year old house that we were caretakers for. Let me describe the situation for you: The hot water handle in our upstairs shower was leaking whenever the shower was running. I didn’t realize how significantly until a wet spot was discovered on the ceiling downstairs underneath the shower. So it needed to be fixed. Well, I wanted to see if it was something I could fix (no laughing) before I went to the expense of calling a plumber. I thought, “I probably can do this in an hour or two.” Now remember this was before YouTube videos, aren’t they wonderful?