Happiness is a Choice

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Is There a Place to *Herd* Sourpusses?

Recently I was out taking my 3-mile power walk through my neighborhood on an unusually warm and sunny early afternoon, when I came upon an elderly man and women (funny I use this descriptor as I too am old) who were doing some spring clean-up in their front yard.

With a pleasant smile on my face, I called out to both of them, “Good afternoon to you both.” Together they looked up surprised. In a stern-like fashion, with cold eyes glued to mine, the wife blurted out to me, “What is there to feel nice about?” The husband, standing about 10 feet away, shook his head dumbfounded, almost apologetically…like he knew she was a nutcase.

benefits of a positive attitudeI immediately stopped in my fast-paced tracks and looked directly into her cold eyes and said to her, “Ma’am, just about everything is good and I’m declaring this to be a great day.” I resumed my walk and, as I was passing her husband, I leaned into him and uttered in a quiet voice, “I don’t envy you!” His immediate reply, “Please take her off my hands.”

Now I know there will be some of you reading this who will share or lecture me the following platitude(s): “Hey Dr. Ron, cool your jets. You should be more loving and caring as everyone is carrying some kind of heavy load, or she’s having a bad day…blah, blah, blah.” I am proclaiming NONSENSE! How in the hell do you turn a “good afternoon” into a negative – particularly towards a swell guy like me simply walking down the sidewalk? Post Script: This is the third time this lady has barked out to me and/or my wife.

Please join me in declaring “I will not allow others to rain on my parade!” I am prohibiting sourpusses from invading my space and I am consciously surrounding myself with folks who inspire and believe the world looks brighter from behind a smile.

Sourpuss reminded me that you can’t change how people treat you or what they say to you. All you can do is shift how you react and whom you choose to be around. The next time I see Sourpuss, I intend to wish her a happy day regardless!

Be happy. Be yourself. If others don’t like it, then let them be.

Happiness is a choice.

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