The power of positive thinking

At the middle school where I work in food service, one day last week while I was serving breakfast two sixth grade boys came in. They were the last to come for breakfast that morning; in fact, they were almost late, but they were happy and joking with each other.

The only problem was that there was only one breakfast sandwich left. It had been a busy, hungry morning. Everyone loves those sausage-egg-cheese sandwiches. It was late, and as much as I would have liked to, I couldn’t make any more for them.

What to do? Morgan and N.K. solved the issue as they decided they would do rock paper scissors. The winner of two out of three would get the sandwich. So Morgan’s scissors could cut N.K.’s paper, and he won. Then he promptly handed his prize, the sandwich, over to his friend. N.K. smiled, thanked his friend, and away they both went.

What a great way to start a day, probably even more for me than for these boys. After all, one of them still didn’t get breakfast. But, whether he realized it or not, by giving his sandwich to his friend, he did get a little food for his soul.

You don’t often see that in middle school. Along with friendship, Morgan demonstrated positive thinking: if he couldn’t have a sandwich, then at least his friend did. And it turns out that this little middle school incident happened on Positive Thinking Day.

Yes, I realize that there is probably a day on the calendar for every conceivable purpose and thought. This one might have a little more merit than some other occasion days, though, because sometimes there are days when we all have trouble being positive. And let’s face it, there are some folks who just seem to live permanently under a cloud so dark that they are never positive.

I checked online to see if there was anything there about positive thinking, and of course there was. One site included ten ways to have a positive day, tips that we all know already but can appreciate anyway if we think about it. Actions such as intention (you set your mind to have a good day or not), gratitude (develop an attitude of gratitude), kindness (be kind to yourself and to those around you), surround yourself with positive people, and read and watch inspirational and motivational materials to keep your self in a positive mindset. The simplest suggestion was just to smile when you see others and even when you’re talking on the phone. Smiling is contagious.