“Over the course of one year, give a coin to each person who offends or upsets you,” instructed the abbot of a young man who wanted people to follow the spiritual path.
For the next twelve months, the man gave a coin to each person who offended or upset him, as he was instructed. At the end of the year, he returned to the abbot to find out what the next steps were.
“Go into town and buy food for me,” the abbot responded.
Once the man left, the abbot changed his clothes, and disguised himself as a beggar and went to the gate. When the man approached, he began to insult him.
“Good!” said the man, “for a whole year I had to pay the people who upset or offended me, and now I can be attacked for free, without spending anything!”
Hearing this, the abbot removed his disguise. “He who does not take insults seriously, is on the path to wisdom.”
— Paul Coelho
“Those who insult others are usually describing themselves.” — Jay Huff
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” — Maya Angelou
Let us look at some of the ways that can help us change our attitude. Depending on the attitude we want to change, we should look for a role model. A role model’s life can give us inspiration and encouragement to move beyond our temporary failures in our journey towards becoming a better person.
Secondly, it is important to have the right company. “Bad company corrupts good character.” We can’t expect ourselves to be able to change if we go on surrounding ourselves with people who possess all the negative traits that we want to change. We need to be with the right people, especially those who are optimistic and have a healthy attitude towards life. It will make our effort to change also easier.
Finally, we should have a firm belief that we will be able to change. Often, the greatest obstacle between us and our goals is ourselves or our inability to trust in what we are able to do. If we don’t believe in ourselves or believe that we or our life can change, it just won’t happen — we will either never start, or give up quickly.
“A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.” — Unknown
No doubt, many have struggled with changing their negative attitude, but over the years, through persistence and self-evaluation, many have managed to change for the better. We too can!
“It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.” — Ralph Ellison