Everybody from people with an undeniable purpose to tweenagers with low riding jeans packed the mall.
Their Attitudes differed widely. It seemed easy to tell the serious goal oriented shoppers from people who had more time than they knew what to do with.
At this stage of my life, I fell into both categories. Sometimes I struggled to fill my days with meaningful activity, but today I had a purpose, a goal. I was tired of having a negative Attitude of resentment and self pity. My whole reason for being at the mall was to visit the Attitude Store and get me some positive Attitude.
Up ahead, I saw the bold yet modest blue and white “The Attitude Store” sign. As I gripped my cane and hobbled nearer, I could see that it hung above the entry way to a neatly kept store. Several octagon shaped tables filled the small store. A kind and yet stern looking gentleman with a gray beard sat behind the counter.
As I entered, I saw the most surprising thing about the store was that only a single customer browsed among the tables. She wore nice clothes and looked to be somewhere between 25 and 45. It’s hard to tell. In her left hand she carried several CD cover sized, linoleum wrapped cards. As she browsed, I saw her add one more card to the ones in her left hand and carry them up to the counter. I pretended to be looking over the cards at one of the tables, but I kept glancing toward the counter.
The friendly sounding gentleman behind the counter looked at her. “Are you finding what you came in for, ma’am?”
“Yes sir,” she answered cheerfully. I’ve needed this store my whole life. I wonder why it took me so long to find it.”
“My experience,” the storekeeper offered, “is that people find us when they’re ready. Some, but not many, find us before they’re ready.”
“I sure feel ready. How can I know for sure?”
He smiled. “You’ll know soon enough.”
She looked puzzled but didn’t say anymore. She set several cards on the counter. “I’ll take these Attitudes.”
The storekeeper picked up the cards. “OK, I’ll be right back.” He disappeared through a door in the wall behind the counter.
He was gone several minutes, during which time I picked up a few linoleum wrapped cards and carried them up to the counter. Finally the storeowner emerged from the back room and set several envelopes on the counter. I couldn’t see the lady’s face, but I imagine she had a disappointed expression as she picked up one of the envelopes and gently shook it.
“What’s this?” she demanded.
“I thought you understood,” the store owner said, “that we sell Attitude seeds.”
“Seeds!” The woman seemed to snort with scorn. “What good are seeds?” With a look that I imagine was filled with disappointment and disgust, she left the store with her head held a little lower than before.
Neither the storekeeper nor I said a word as I set the three cards I’d chosen on the counter.
Finally he said, “Do you understand what we sell?”
I smiled. “Yes sir. I’ve heard it explained that Attitudes come in time.”
The three Attitude cards I’d chosen were:
- Acceptance, which I chose because I want to Live until I die.
- Belief in my own possibilities, which I chose because I want to I lighten up.
- Care for others, which I chose because what goes around comes around.
I planted these seeds years ago, but their growth is gradual. My Acceptance of the things I cannot change, and my Belief in possibilities is increasing. Also I’m learning to consistently have a win-win Attitude, so my evident Care for others is increasing on a daily basis.
I haven’t attained Attitude perfection, but I am making progress. What else can we ask?