Attitudes or Gratitudes — It’s Your Choice!
The dictionary describes attitude in this way, “a manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing.” When a teacher or coach says, “He’s got an attitude,” it is not a positive remark. No matter how you cut it “having an attitude” is not a good thing.
“Attituders” are complainers. They yell and moan about what is wrong and don’t get anything done. Attituders seem to revel in making everyone meserible. And you don’t have to look very far to find them.
Attituders can be heard almost any time of the day on talk radio. They often scream and find great fault in things the other side is doing. They almost always feel like someone is out to get them and forgiveness is not something that they embrace. The point out problems, but don’t outline solutions. If fact, attituders don’t listen, they are too busy trying to make their point, which, they believe, is the only one worth having.
It was the attituders who led the march to crucify Jesus, supported Hitler and tried to stop America’s integration.
The dictionary defines gratitude “as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” It then states that gratitude is “the essence of good mental health and spirituality.” Now this sounds like a group we would have to have over for dinner.
“Gratituders” are those who see their blessings, look for solutions, lift up rather than put down and solve problems. Grattituders make life better from everyone around them because they care deeply about more than just themselves.
In other words, gratituders are doers. You may not hear them, they won’t be yelling on street corners or screaming out at radio broadcasts, but you can see their work. They are spiritual healers whose touch can bring comfort and understanding. They encourage and don’t judge. They don’t set themselves apart from others, but see all people are their brothers and sisters.
Each of us has a choice. We choose the team we want to serve. The choice you have to make is if you want to be an attituder or a gratituder. If you decide to be like those who have have brought light into a dark world then you will be a gratituder and the world will be a better place because your choice.
There are ten attitudes in the book GrATTITDUE that I feel we need to fully embrace to be a happy, productive influence. One of those is recognizing the importance of TEAM. My agent Joyce Hart knows this concept well. She has experience the importance of team not just in career as an agent, but in her current recovery from major back surgery. It has taken a team to get her back on her feet and put her back in the game that reunites her with those us who look upon Joyce as the captain of our book team.
Each of us is part of a team. Whether we like to admit it or not, we rely on others and others rely on us. What matters most is not how we stand out as individuals, but rather how we make the team better with our time, energy, and gifts. When we make the team better, that same team gives back to us in our moments of need.
The lesson that each individual is called to be more than an individual is exemplified by Shalee Lehning, a basketball point guard who played for four years at Kansas State University and now plays in the WNBA. Shalee is not a large woman. At a bit over five-feet seven, she is strong, but lean. She is quick, but not fast. She is not as much a pure athlete as she is ane example of a person who worked hard to enhance her modest God-given skills. If you were to line up ten women from the pro league in a row and ask someone to pick out the one was not really a pro player, she will likely be the first won chosen.
So why is this brown-eyed former high school homecoming queen constantly surrounded by young girls seeking her autograph? Why was Shalee so successful at making others look better that her college number was retired?
If you look through the Kansas State record books you will not find her leading the list of the school’s scorers. She also was never a great three point shooter. Where her name pops up first in as the school’s assit leader. What does that mean? Essentially Shalee was the person who passed the ball to a person who made the points. And she did it more than any else in school history and led all rookies in the WNBA in that often overlooked category in her first year in the pro ranks. In other words, Shalee became a star by literally “passing” the spotlight to others.
At the ceremony where Kansas State become the first player who was not a scoring leader to have her number retired, thousands cheered as Shalee’s number 5 jersey was lifted into the rafters of the gym. Over the deafening roar, a newspaper reporter asked the basketball player what it meant to have her number honored in such a way.
“I’ve always thought there were five on the court. There isn’t just one. There are five of us out there at a given time, which is why I picked number 5. For that number, I hope people know that this honor does not exemplify Shalee Lehning. That’s for the team, the program, the university, anyone who helped get me to where I am today. I didn’t do any of this on my own. It’s always been a team.”
Shalee’s attitude provided Kansas State with more than just wins. It gave the school an unselfish sports’ icon. Because she was seen on a national stage as someone who put others first and herself second, many parents steered their high school kids to attend the school she attended. Her values unknowingly made her a recruiter for the school. Yet that was just the beginning. Thousands, including many reporters, tried to find out why in the era of “me first” athletes that Shalee put such an emphasis on team. The answered proved to be a recruiting tool for another group.
Shalee explained that it was her Christian faith that caused her to look out of others. It was her faith that forced to her to think about giving before recieving. It was that faith that made her want to lift her teammates and dimish herself. And it was her faith that caused a number of folks to look at their own lives and then join the team she viewed as the most important in her life.
We’re all on a team—and those of us who embrace the gratitude of teamwork become leaders who make others, and ourselves, better. True team players also become the greatest and most followed leaders. And that makes understanding the concept of TEAM a very powerful GrATTITUDE. If you don’t believe me, ask Joyce!