This story by Robert Morgan is one of my favorite stories. It is about a woman who left home one morning to do her shopping. It was a small European village where you go to every shop individually, and so she went to the cheese shop for some Swiss cheese for her quiche. Then to the bakery for a baguette. Then to the fruit stand for some oranges. Then to the vegetable market for some salad fixings. Then to the patisserie for dessert. But everywhere she went she frowned and turned up her nose and said how terrible everyone else smelled. Every shop had a bad aroma. Every person had an unpleasant odor. The very streets smelled badly. She complained to everyone she met about the stink in the air. It was only after she returned home and unpacked her purchases that she discovered that the clerk at the cheese shop had given her limburger cheese instead of Swiss, and limburger cheese has a very ripe odor to it. She had been complaining about everyone else when in reality she had been carrying the problem around her in her own packages. The problem had been with her all the time.
That’s the way it is with our attitudes. Sometimes we think our circumstances stink. We think other people stink. But when we’re perpetually unhappy or irritated or depressed or angry or anxious or unpleasant, the real problem may be our own attitudes which we’re carrying around inside of ourselves all the time.
- The Roman statesman and philosopher, Seneca, said: “A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is.”
- Abraham Lincoln reportedly said: “A person is about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
· And the great Scottish preacher, Robert Murray McCheyne, once said: “I feel it my duty to be as happy as the Lord wants me to be.” So, my dear friend, how happy are you this morning?