Attitude: A little thing that makes such a big difference | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | February 28, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: February 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm

In this society of so much hate, grief, pain, anger, indifference, suffering, and the like, one thing that can probably change or improve it is a bursting of genuine positive attitudes among all of us. According to a well-known adage, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” One’s attitude can be optimistic or pessimistic, but it is all left up to the individual.
If a high school senior were to reach a point and says, “I have had enough of school…forget this,” and walks out of the school doors six months before graduation, somewhere down the line, he or she lost sight of perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude.
Sometimes, many of us give up when our breakthrough could be just around the corner. Maintaining a firm belief in God’s Word and His promises positively affects our attitudes, for the Lord says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (ESV). Just believe in the will and plan of the Master.
This being African-American History Month, let me share with you a few names of some well-known African-Americans from South Carolina who had humble beginnings, persevered during times of adversity, maintained strong positive attitudes, and ultimately made a significant impact on the pages of our history.
Marian Wright Edelman, a native of Bennettsville born in 1939, became the first African-American woman admitted to the bar in Mississippi. Her father died when she was 14, but he told her prior to his departure, “Don’t let anything get in the way of your education,” and she did not. She believed that the best way to eliminate poverty was to offer poor parents hope for their children. Edelman devoted her life to better education, better nutrition, expanded childcare options, and employment options for young people. Her name is synonymous with child advocacy.
Another native of our state, a research scientist and astronaut from Lake City, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, completed his first mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger in February 1984. However, he died tragically aboard the same space shuttle on January 28, 1986 as the world watched in shock. Dr. McNair told students, “You can achieve your dreams. Look at me, a humble country boy. If I can do it, you can do it too.” Even though a high school guidance counselor told him that he was not college material, in 1976 he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a doctorate in physics. The same library in Lake City where a librarian refused to check out a book to Dr. McNair, when he was a young boy, is now a museum named in his honor.
Lastly, Etu Evans, a 1992 honor graduate of South Carolina State University, is a world-class shoe designer. When Evans was a middle school student in Orangeburg, a teacher told his mother not to expect too much from him. However, his grandmother believed in him, gave him encouragement, and knew that one day he would be a success because he had a “big mind.” He helped pay his college tuition by creating elegant floral arrangements from his grandmother’s garden. When Etu Evans is not designing shoes, he is raising money and soliciting shoe donations for his foundation, Solesville. What awesome testaments to what having a positive attitude can do for those who are determined!
If you know someone who has a pessimistic attitude about life, please share the above stories and this one, “An Interesting Funeral:”
“One day all the employees of a very unusual company reached their office, and all saw a big sign on the main door which said this . . .
“Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.” In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that person who hindered the growth of their colleagues and the company itself? The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up. Everyone thought – “Who is this person who was hindering my progress?”
“One by one the intrigued employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless. They all got to stand near the coffin, and all ended up shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself! There was also a sign next to the mirror that said. . .
“There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth, and IT IS YOU!”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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