The Attitude of the Mind

Every morning two men, both psychiatrists, rode the same elevator in their office building at the same time. One of them would get off on the 5th floor and the other on the 9th. Everyone morning as the first psychiatrist was about to get off the elevator, he would turn and spit at the second psychiatrist. This man would then pull out a handkerchief and wipe off his face.

This was in the days when there was an elevator operator still running the lift device. The young operator watched this episode every day until he could stand it no longer. Finally, one day he asked the second man, “Why does he do that? Why does he spit at you every morning?”

“I don’t know,” said the second man, “that’s his problem, not mine!”

A key part of growing in maturity is recognizing that what happens to us is not as important as how we react. We have the opportunity to decide how we want to react to the things around us that we can not control. It really has to do with our attitude.

The single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. As we continue to live with the presence of Covid and various restrictions it is easy to grow tired, fearful and frustrated with all of it. It seems like there is very little we can do, and we do not like having any control. Yet, we are still responsible for our actions and reactions towards others.

Paul reminds us that it is a daily effort in our Christian walk. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

This is not easy to put into practice. The choice is ours each morning when we get up.