Monthly Archives: December 2017

Look for the good…

Well, it is that time of year again.  The time of year to think about resolutions.  I’ve already made mine.  I’ll say what they are later.  But first, I want to tell a story.

A man was working on his yard and visiting with one of his neighbors.  He lived next to a house that was being sold.  An open house was held for interested buyers.  Several people came by to see it, and one of them stopped to ask him a question.

“What type of people live in this neighborhood?”

The man answered with a question of his own.

“What type of people lived in the area that you came from?”

“Oh, they were horrible!  We couldn’t get along with anyone.  Kids were out at all hours, making noise.  Dogs barked, cats chased birds and yowled at midnight, yards were a mess, with unchecked weeds…when we complained, no one ever did anything about it.  We are very glad to get out of that area!”

“Well, you will probably find the same type of people here.”

“Oh.  Well, maybe we will keep looking for a better place.”

A little while later, another person asked him about the people in the neighborhood.

Again, the man asked,

“What type of people lived in the area that you came from?”

“Oh, we had the greatest neighborhood.  Everyone knew everyone else.  It was so safe, the kids could play outside for as long as they wanted.  It was pet friendly, and almost everyone had a dog or a cat.  One of our neighbor’s kids would bring everyone dandelion bouquets from their yard.  I am really going to miss our neighbors and our neighborhood.”

“Well, you will find people are about the same here.”

“Really?  Oh, that is wonderful!  I can tell we will feel right at home.”

As she left, the man’s friend, who had heard both answers, was confused.

“I don’t get it.  One person had a bad neighborhood, and you said this would be like that one.  The other person had a good neighborhood, and you said this would be like theirs. How can the same neighborhood be bad for one person, and good for another?”

“Ah, you see, it isn’t the neighborhood at all.  It is in the perception, and what the person looks for.  The first person looked for the negative.  She found it in her neighborhood, and she would find it here.  The second person looked for the positive.  She found it in her old neighborhood, and she will find it here.”

The story has an important lesson.

It doesn’t matter if you look for the good, or the bad.  Whatever you look for, that is what you will find.

I had a friend tell me recently that I always seem to look for the good in things.  That is something that I always try to do.  My father used to tell me that every cloud had a silver lining.  If I expect the bad, if I look for the bad, that is what I will find and see.  I would far rather look for the good, because eventually, I will find it.

So.  New Year’s resolution.  For the last several years, my New Year’s Resolution has been simply to Do More.  This past year, I have submitted a few more stories, sold a few more articles, lost a little more weight, exercised a little more, thrown away a little more stuff, done a little more repair work on the house I live in.  I have done more.

This year’s resolution is the the same as last – to do more.  But this year I am adding something specific:  Do more looking for the good.  I know I will find it.