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FW: attitude and choice

Jun 29, 1997 08:34 AM
by Anna S. Bjornsdottir & E.A.

I just forward this message as I got it.
You may like it, or you may not - It is your choice now.


The following is making its way around the internet (I have already
received it twice, myself). But after receiving it today, I noticed that
it dealt with the issue of choice, which we all were discussing a couple
weeks ago.

So, for those of you who haven"t read this, it"s a quick read and an
uplifting story (a la "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" or the works by Oz
Mandino). And, it reminds me that despite the heavy burden of cultural
programming and natural temperment, we are still the captains of our own
ships with regard to choice and free will.

Enjoy, Scott


Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate.  He was always in a good
mood and always had something positive to say.  When someone would
ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I
would be twins!"

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had
followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the
waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural
motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there
telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to
Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person
all of the time. How do you do it?"

Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you
have two choices today.  You can choose to be in a good mood or you
can choose to be in a bad mood.'  I choose to be in a good mood. Each
time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can
choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time
someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their
complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose
the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes it is," Jerry  said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut
away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how you
react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You
choose to be in a good or bad mood. The bottom line:  It's your
choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Jerry said.

Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own
business.  We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a
choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I
heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a
restaurant business:  he left the back door open one morning and was
held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the
safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the

The robbers panicked and shot him.

Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local
trauma center.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive
care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the
bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him
how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins.  Wanna
see my scars?"  I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what
had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have
locked the back door," Jerry replied.  "Then, as I lay on the floor,
I remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live, or I
could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared?  Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great.  They kept telling me I
was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency
room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and
nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead
man.' I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said
Jerry.  "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied.
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.
I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'  Over their laughter, I
told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive,
not dead."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of
his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the
choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything. You have 2 choices now:
 1.   save and delete this mail from your mail box.
 2.   forward it

 Hope, you will choose choice 2
Arnold Appel

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