“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Charles R. Swindoll
“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”
“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.”
“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.”
Changing and owning our attitude can take an almost infinite number of forms. From our attitude towards ourselves and our perceived failings, to our attitude towards those we encounter (smile! It’s free!) to our attitude towards the world itself! All we TRULY have control of in this world is our attitude, our reactions/responses…..and of course our intentions.
But whatever form it takes, changing ones attitude comes from within. The first step is self-examination. In its broadest sense, this can be seen as the start of a journey of change. Perhaps even change that is ‘spiritual’ in nature, if one believes in such things. After all, where does ‘attitude’ come from? Who determines it?
On this journey…..One may come to think that in correcting or changing your attitude, that a state of enhanced peace is desirable, as the picture above illustrates. But inner peace can be perceived as a withdrawal from the world. A world that needs us.
Or it can be perceived as the individual contributing to the peace of the world by truly becoming that which he wishes to see. That by truly living in peace, he helps the entire world to be more peaceful.
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
One thing is for sure, this is not a peaceful world, and warriors have their place.
An old question arises from this line of thought….and from NL’s essay! With the possibility of some nice discussion on a Sunday evening.
Once you achieve peace…and the mastery of attitude that presumably goes with it, presumably….then what? And is seeking peace exclusive to being active in the world? Can one do both?
What attitude does one take if one does NOT want to withdraw from the world? If one wishes to fight the injustices and atrocities?
Can their truly be Peaceful Warriors?
How do Peaceful Warriors act in the world
How does one become one?
“Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.”
Karl von Clausewitz
“The warrior’s approach is to say “yes” to life: “yea” to it all.”
“”To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.””
“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”
Which brings us back to attitude:
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse”
One thing is for sure, JFK had it right.
“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy