Working for the United States Postal Service always presents interesting challenges. One of them is that I am not always surrounded by the most positive and inspiring people. While these people prove to be an interesting challenge to maintaining a positive attitude, they also provide some of the best ideas. Here is a prime example. Just the other day one of my coworkers asked one of these less inspiring folks the simple question “How are you doing?” He replied with the answer “Just like a lemming getting closer to jumping off the cliff to his death” The scary part is this man was very serious. I was saddened by the fact many people view their lives in just such a manner. The interesting thing to note is this man is in good health, has a fairly safe job that pays him a decent wage, a car to drive to and from work and place to stay. Still, instead of feeling grateful for all of these things he literally felt his life was on its way to falling off a cliff. The other gentleman knowing that I am an advocate of developing a positive attitude felt the need to include me in the discussion. “What do you think of that Neil?” he asked. I turned to the gentleman who seemed to have a rather dark view and asked if he was a happy lemming or a sad lemming? He looked confused for a second and replied “What difference does it make?” I said well if one lemming was happy and another lemming was always unhappy and they both jumped off a cliff what would happen to them when they hit the bottom? A smile crossed his face and he said triumphantly “They would both die! It doesn’t matter if they were happy or not!” “You are right” I told him. Which both shocked him and seemed to increase his sense of satisfaction. As he stated to walk away I had one quick question for him. “It is true both lemmings will die, but which one do you think will have more fun on the way down?” I will have to say his response was probable not fit to print here, but did involve waving at me with just one finger.
So what is the whole point of this story? In a nutshell here it is. The bad news, we are all going to die. Some of us quicker than others. We never know. Things in life will go wrong. We will lose those we care about. We will encounter an endless amount of challenges as we go through life. Not very inspiring is it? Well, I did say that was the bad news. Here is the good news your attitude is up to your choosing. To a rather large extent it can have an influence on how long and healthy your life is, but more important than the years in your life is the life in your years. If we all have a set time on this planet is it not our duty to drain every last drop of joy and passion out of it? It is true we are all lemmings getting closer to the edge of that cliff, but why not be the one who enjoys the feel of the wind rushing by on the way down instead of dreading the end. Enjoy every last second of life all the way up to the end. We are all going to meet the same end. How much we enjoy the journey there is what is up to us! Find reasons to be grateful, find the beauty and joy in life. Be the happy lemming.