It is a well known “tactic” to determine whether someone has a negative or positive attitude. Just ask him/her whether a glass of water (filled to the halfway mark) is half full or half empty. The person, who normally has a positive attitude towards life, would normally respond and say “it is half full”. A person with a negative attitude would tell you that it is half empty. Which one are you?
When observing anything, people with a negative attitude see what they see, and that is all they see. People with a positive attitude, tend to be looking for more, and look for the potential of growth or improvement.
There is a story about a king in Africa. He grew up alongside his best friend and they remained friends even after he became king. The friend was known for having the habit of always making the comment of “it is a good thing”. Whether something good happened or whether it was bad, he would always say “it is a good thing”.
One day he accompanied the king on a hunting trip. While he was loading the gun for the king, something went wrong and an accidental shot went off. The king was hit on the thumb and his thumb was totally shot off from his hand. The friend looked at the injury for a while and then made the remark…….. “It is a good thing”.
The king was furious about this and gave instructions for his friend to be imprisoned immediately.
Several months later, the king went on another hunting trip. He went hunting in an extremely dangerous area where he knew he shouldn’t be going; as he knew this area was known for the presence of a very savage tribe of cannibals. Nonetheless, he went there.
Within a short while, he got captured by the cannibals. They tied up the king and started preparing the fire. While the fire was already burning, at closer inspection, one of the tribe members noticed that the king only had one thumb. This tribe was extremely superstitious, and they would never eat anything that had any physical handicap. It had to be perfect. So they immediately untied the king and set him free.
Being relieved beyond description, the king went straight to his friend to tell him what happened and to release him from prison.
After profusely apologising to his friend that he gave the order to put him in prison, the friend once again replied; “it is a good thing”. In absolute amazement the king asked him how he could say such a thing! The friend calmly replied; “if I wasn’t in prison, I would have been with you on this hunting trip, and they would have eaten me”.
Maybe it is also time for us to realize that everything that happens to us is not always pleasant. It is not always what we want to happen or things don’t work out the way we want to. But somewhere in the future, it might contribute to our success and work out for the better. It might be in the form of knowledge or experience gained that is needed for something we need to do. Maybe it will enable us to speak and act with authority (having been there ourselves) when we need to support someone else going through an ordeal. But let us also get into the habit of saying “it is a good thing”.