Malodorous Malady

I walk into the bathroom and then the odor hits me. All I can think about is the horrible smell. When I leave the bathroom, I continue to remark at how unpleasant the odor was. Then I realize: why am I thinking so much about an unpleasant odor? So I stop.

It’s a simple procedure to make one’s self miserable: pick out every possible unpleasantry. And the tendency to focus on the unpleasant ignores distinctions in age, gender, relationship-status, country of origin, ethnicity, and socio-economic-status — so it’s not these aspects of life that require changing. In order to obtain more enjoyment from life, we must change what we focus on.

From a particularly negative perspective, everything will appear unpleasant, so it’s not the exterior world that requires change. A negative outlook can pick apart any seemingly pleasant event. And likewise, a positive outlook can turn any situation into a reason for celebrating.

Also, our negativity affects everyone around us, who wants to hear about the foul stench emanating from the bathroom? Should the sounds that emanate from our mouths bring harmony or discordance into the world? Do we want others to hum along or cover their ears? Notice the tune you’re singing, it’s better to inspire rather than infect.


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