Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yes We Had a Great Day...

I love Jeff Dunham. Sure, he plays with dolls for a living but the guy is a genius. One of my favorite parts of his act is when Peanut and Jose the Jalepeno are talking about their day:

Jeff: I understand you guys had a good day today?
Peanut: Yes, we had a great day!
Jose: No, we did not.
Peanut: Yes!
Jose: No! We did not haaave a good day.
Peanut: Yes we haaaad a great freakin' day!
Jeff (to Peanut): You were supposed to take him to the spa
Peanut (to Jeff): I took him to the spa!
Jose: He put me in the vegetable steamer!

Sounds like they did not have a great day, well at least one of them anyhow. That skit reminded me of someone I once knew. Fred was 104 years old, I think, when he finally had to stop saying "I woke up on top of the ground, it's a great day!" You could always count on Fred to greet you that way. Even though he might not have been having a great day, from the best I can remember, he always seemed to keep things in perspective, and saw each new day as a gift to be celebrated.

I've been noticing something lately and it's beginning to concern me. I'm not really sure how long I've been watching for this, but it's been a while, and what I've noticed is that folks like Fred are few and far between. Few are the folks who celebrate each new day as the gift it is, and allow that gift to shape their perspective for the entire day. Much greater is the number of folks who wake up and begin their day belly-aching about something, then allow that negativity to spread like the plague to those around them.

Don't believe me? Run through your facebook friend's posts and look at the number of people who seem either unhappy, depressed, or just plain negative. Talk about a buzzkill. After I started noticing the trend on facebook, I began looking for the same in the people I interacted with face to face. Same thing. More people than not seem to be oozing negativity.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a realist and I know that things are tough all over...but really? Also, I'm not an anthropologist, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I did come across a study that said negativity is contagious. It's true in marketing, in our own circles, and in the church.

Being a realist, I know that life is not all puppies and daisies, but for crying out loud, how about a smile every now and then? Is that really too much to ask out of folks who wake up, can get out of bed under their own power, have a little food in the house, and have friends and family to help get them through the really tough days? I think not.

Honestly, I have my share of bad days and I know you do too. I have days when I could absolutely spit nails and things happen that even make a preacher cuss, but that's just life. You roll with the punches and go on. Fred has been gone for years, but his words still ring in my ears anytime I feel the urge to start griping: "I woke up on top of the ground. It's a good day."

I'm halfway through with this journey we call life, and I'm going to spend the last half doing everything I can to curb this tsunami of negativity. I don't know what that's going to look like yet, but something has to give. I care greatly about the things that cause you stress and difficulty and want you to know I'm here for you. Don't be surprised, though, when you start complaining and I say, "Hey, you woke up on top of the ground. It's a great freakin' day."

I'll leave you with a little Electric Light Orchestra... (Copy and paste into your browser)


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