On a regular, average summer afternoon in my youth I was sitting in the kitchen watching my youngest brother play with his friends in the backyard as my mother cleaned up the mess from lunch. The kids fun came to its inevitable lull, the friends went home and my brother came in the house. As soon as he opened the back door it was obvious that there was a problem. He had wet his pants.
He was old enough that this was something my mom believed to be behind them. I could tell by the look on my brothers face that he knew wetting his pants was going to bring him some grief. He sheepishly looked up and his innocent eyes met my mothers understandably furious gaze.
“Nathan, you wet your pants!” she exclaimed.
“Yeah,” he replied, “but, I didn’t wet my shirt.”
My mom tried hard to remain stern, but the laughter took over. Nathan and I followed suit and began to laugh, I looked closely and realized he was right. Although his pants were soaked his shirt was bone dry.
Nathan was under no misconceptions about what happened. He had in fact wet his pants, and this was something, “bad.” It wasn’t the right thing, or a good thing, or a thing that even remotely had any positive ramifications. But, it had happened, and now he had to make a decision — to concentrate on the bad or to see the good.
Often in our lives were presented with the same opportunity. To decide whether to see the bad or emphasize the good. Seeing the bad is definitely easier, and requires very little effort. There is bad everywhere in everyone’s life, and it gets all kinds of publicity. All you have to do is watch the news, read the paper, or listen to the daily gossip to see it. There are bad people making poor decisions that bring with them bad consequences. There are also good people making good decisions that bring unfortunate consequences. Bad things happen, it’s just a fact of life.
However, if we choose to we can, like Nathan, see the good. But, it will take considerably more effort. It doesn’t get the press the bad does, maybe a few minutes at the end of the nightly news, or a few lines in the paper. But it’s there, it ‘s everywhere. If you’ll look, you’ll see it as someone lets you merge on the freeway, or a neighbor stops to help you fix your car. It’s evident in every kind word or simple deed that comes unasked from one person to another. It’s just as evident and prevalent as the bad for those who make the conscious decision to see it.
We then, each day get to choose. Which will it be, which will we see. This decision will be paramount in deciding what kind of day you have. If you choose to concentrate on the, “Wet Pants” you’ll see them and have a bad day. But, if you’ll exert just little extra energy you’ll find the, “Dry Shirts” and have good day after good day.
So, “Wet Pants or Dry Shirt.”