Ironically, one of my favorite memories from high school was when my car broke down. The common story of a car breaking down usually involves being stranded somewhere at an inconvenient time, perhaps with other people relying on a ride, all of this still applies to my story. Four of my friends and I were all staying in Burleson during Southwestern’s annual Music Fest. After the Friday night vespers we were all exhausted so we sluggishly made our way to my car. We all say goodbye to our boyfriends who had chivalrously walked us to the car, and we pile in the minivan. When I put my key into the ignition, it didn’t start. My 2003 Honda Odyssey had been going through some rough times, at this point it had over two hundred thousand miles on it and would, on occasion, not start. I would have to open the hood and hit part of it with a hammer in order to get it running. After attempting this many times, the car still wouldn’t start. So I looked at my friends who were sitting around with the aforementioned gentlemen and told them that we were going to have to find another mode of transportation.
We eventually found another ride to take us to Burleson and we began walking to our sponsor’s car. We had to walk through the church, with our bags of stuff, to get to the other car. Although the guys were staying on campus they still kept us company, lifting our spirits. They even helped carry the bags which we were a bit embarrassed to carry since we had to pass through the church which was still filled with high schoolers. Instead of filling the atmosphere with frustration and anger we were laughing as we walked through the church with our sponsor. Instead of dragging our feet with exhaustion we nearly skipped through the parking lot as we made our way. Finally when we got to the car, we were surprised with the fact that the car was packed with snacks the sponsors had bought for us, that we all had no idea about. On the way home, the five of us felt happy.
This situation could have gone a million different ways, the guys could have been annoyed that they had to stay longer or could have. We could have grown annoyed at each other, or the others could’ve gotten angry at me. None of these things happened because we all kept a good attitude.
It is impossible to change the circumstances of a situation you are in, but the one thing you can control is your attitude and how you respond. It is easy to find the negative side of things, it is comfortable to complain. If you choose to see the good side of your circumstances, your experience will improve without changing much, other than your attitude.
Keeping up a positive spirit is often extremely hard, and I often have to rely on God to give me patience. Even taking a single moment to take a deep breath to calm down can make an astronomical difference. “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” (Romans 12:12)
Yes, there are more complex events in our lives where it is impossible to keep a positive attitude, but in your normal day to day life simply changing your perspective can help you find a better way to respond to anything life throws at you.
Lorraine Fernando is going into her freshmen year at Texas A&M University to study Engineering.