At the beginning of one college professor’s 8:00 a.m. class Monday at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), she cheerfully asked her students how their weekend had been. One young man said that his weekend had not been very good. He’d had his wisdom tooth extracted. The young man then proceeded to ask me why the teacher always seemed to be so cheerful. His question reminded her of something she’d read somewhere before: “Every morning when you get up, you have a choice about how you want to approach life that day”, she said to the young man. “I choose to be cheerful”. “Let me give you an example”, she continued.
“Today I was driving to work when suddenly my car started to sputter. I pulled to the side and immediately realized that I had a serious problem in my engine. I called the tow truck company who took more than an hour to reach me.. Finally, they arrived, I filled out some forms, and after that the man towed my car away. Only seconds after walking the 15 miles to work, a fellow co-worker spilled coffee all over my shoes.
When I reached my office, I wiped my shoes and called the autorepair to schedule an appointment.”
The other 60 students in the class ceased their chatter and began to listen to the teacher and student’s conversation. The teacher continued speaking., “back at the office, my secretary heard me and asked what had happened. This is my lucky day, I replied, smiling. ‘Your car breaks down and today is your lucky day??’ She was puzzled. ‘What do you mean?’
I live 20 miles from here, I replied. My car could have broken down anywhere along the freeway. It didn’t. Instead, it broke down in the perfect place: off the freeway, within walking distance of here. I’m still able to teach my class, and I’ve been able to arrange for the auto repair to meet me after class. If my car was meant to break down today, it couldn’t have been arranged in a more convenient fashion. The secretary nodded. Well, when you think of it this way I guess it is…’ then her eyes travelled to my wet and coffee-smelling shoes. ‘Oh no, what happened! Your shoes are dripping wet and your feet looks slightly burned.’ She gasped. ‘Not to mention, your carpet has coffee shoeprints!’
I looked back, shrugged my shoulders and laughed. I guess this is another reason to feel lucky today. My secretary looked at me as if I has lost my brains. ‘Your carpet is ruined, your feet are burned, your shoes are wet… and this is your lucky day?!?!?!’
Of course. To you this may sound horrible but I try to look at it positively. I replied politely. The coffee spilled on my shoes, yes but I was not wearing my thin material shoes. These are just my leather shoes that can be dried out soon. Secondly, yes I did burn my feet a bit but its extremely mild compared to the serious burns that can occur from such a huge amount of coffee. And lastly, yes my rug is ruined but its brown and the shoe prints wont show up. Not only is the color perfect but luckily this is my old shaggy rug that I was planning to take the dry-cleaner’s anyway. If coffee was to be spilled on me today, it could not have been done in a less-stressful and convenient way.”
The secretary’s eyes opened wide, and then she smiled. I smiled back and headed for class , where I am standing right now.” So ended the teacher’s story to the students in her economics class at UNLV.
She scanned the 60 faces in the lecture hall. Despite the early hour, no one seemed to be asleep. Somehow, her story had touched them. She never planned to tell one, but in fact, it had all started with a student’s observation that she was cheerful. A wise man once said: “Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say”. The teacher agreed that it was true.
Moral of the story: Always be positive and grateful. Remember, everything God does is for the best and if you put it in the right perspective you will understand. Just like in the story, the secretary thinks the teacher is having the worst possible day because her car broke down until the teacher explains how to her, it seems like a good thing. If you think of a problem in a positive way, you will be happy and find the solution.
Secondly, If you act cheerful, kind, and encouraging all the time others will notice and be motivated to do the same. Start with yourself. Others will follow 🙂