Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mistaken Wisdom

This is a wee bit embarrassing, but such is the stuff of blog posts, right? 

So here’s the story.

At my kids’ school they’ve started this program to increase good citizenship and civic awareness. They’re encouraging kids to be more respectful and mindful of their behavior. You know, basically to have good manners and be polite to their fellow students and teachers. I have to say, it’s worked to some extent because I’ve noticed, for example, some kids actually holding the door for the kids behind them as they enter the school in the morning. This is something my kids could use help with because I tell you, I could be climbing the steps of Mt. Doom with Frodo Baggins on my back, trying to save the dang world from the forces of ultimate evil, and my kids would still walk ahead of me and let the door slam in my face as we went inside. 
"Uh, kids, could you hold the door for me, please?"

So a couple weeks back, as part of this civic awareness program, they put up a motivational poster or two in the school lobby. The one that caught my eye said this:

Your attitude determines your attitude.

The first time I read it, I was like, whuh? Your attitude determines your attitude? And then I thought about it, and I thought, hey, yeah, that’s kind of true, isn’t it? I mean, we don’t have control over our circumstances all the time, but we do have control over how we approach things. People often think their attitudes fall into that category of “things I can’t help,” but they don’t. Attitudes are absolutely adjustable. I mean, your attitude may be the only thing that you do have a choice about.

Huh. That’s kind of a cool idea. And definitely a good message for kids, right? To let them know, hey, you have more power than you think you do.

The past month I’ve been thinking about this a lot because, for reasons I can’t go into, I’ve pretty much needed to recharge my positive attitude on an hourly basis. I swear, if I thought it might have helped, I’d have hooked myself up to the car battery with jumper cables by now. But tough as it’s been, I’ve muddled through, occasionally thinking about that banner. 

My attitude will determine my attitude, I told myself. Yes, indeedy. 

OK, so here’s where this delightful, inspirational tale would end except that this past Monday evening, I looked at the banner again for the umpteenth time, and I realized that what it actually says is, “Your attitude determines your aLtitude.”


ALTITUDE. Not attitude.

I wondered why there was a picture of a hot air balloon on there. I guess that banner is saying that your attitude will determine how far you go in life. Something like that?

OK, well, duh. Guess I got that wrong, but whatever. I think I like my erroneous interpretation better. It helped me get through the past few weeks even if I was mistaken about the message. 

Additionally and obviously, it may be time for me to investigate the getting of glasses.

How’s your attitude this week?