TO Be or not to Be
Anybody out there been around teenagers? Anyone been a teenager? Attitude, tons of it. I remember as a kid growing up, my parents would say, "Go to your room and fix your attitude. Go to your room to learn how to act." And I go to my room and I'd be there for a while and then I step out to the hallway and say, "To be or not to be". Yeah, I spent a lot of time in my room. Attitude. That obviously was not what they were talking about. But oftentimes, when we talk about attitude, we don't give a really good definition of what it means to have an attitude or how to change an attitude. So, here are some things that I've learned. So, in 19.
I think it was in 1983, I went to New York for the first time and on our. I was going to NCWP convention and so, this was like one of my first airplane ride and I was just so excited to take this trip.
And so, we're approaching New York and the pilot gets on the loud speaker and says, "If you look out your left side window, at 17, 000 feet, you will see the Statue of Liberty." And so, I looked out of the window and I don't see the Statue of Liberty. But that's OK because I know that we are going to come back so on the way back I will be able to see.
So, I go to New York. I had a great time at the convention, just learn lots of folks, lot of things and meet lots of new folks and all sorts of stuff. And on the way back, I make sure that I get a seat on the plane so I can sit by the window so this time, as we were leaving,
I could see the Statue of Liberty. And the pilot gets on the loudspeaker, we are leaving and he says, "If you look out your right side window, you'll see the Statue of Liberty."
And so, I look out my window and I don't see the Statue of Liberty. I have a bad attitude. OK. We'll come back to this story in just a second. So, let's talk about this attitude thing. What is this attitude thing and why is this important? All right? So, my father was my pastor.
Growing up, church was a big part of our lives and I remember an instance where I would ask to borrow the car from my father and it would be Friday night and I said, "Dad, can I borrow the car?"
And because my dad loves me, what would my father say to my request? He would say yes. And so, he would say yes and I would say that my father had what kind of an attitude? A good or a positive attitude, right? And consequently, what kind of attitude would my father say that I have?
He would say that I also have a good or a positive attitude. Now, I mentioned that my father was my pastor and so on Sunday, we would go to church from seven a.m. for Sunday school to about 11:30 p.m. at the end of night service.
We'd stop at three o'clock for chicken not because we are black but because we thought chicken was delicious. So, we went to church all day and I recall a particular time when one of my friends, my friend Dexter, called and said "Andre, we are going to go to the movies, can you come pick me up?"
Now, I know we have church all day but this was a special movie. It was the Two Jakes featuring Jack Nicholson. Don't go see it.
And anyway, so I sheepishly walk into my dad and I say, "Dad, can I use the car?" And what does my father say? "No. You know we have church." Yeah, I know we have church but I thought it was worth a chance. But I say my dad has what kind of an attitude? A bad or negative attitude. And consequently, I respond to him and he would say that I also have a bad or negative attitude.
So, what is it that determines the attitude? Now, most popularly, people would say that an attitude is some kind of an emotional response. That an attitude is the way you interpret the emotional environment to your pleasure or not, right? That's what typically people would say.
What I like to offer you two ways to think about an attitude. First of all, when we talk about aeronautics, right? The study of flight.
There are two concepts that are extremely important to understand. The first is how high things are from the ground is called the what? Altitude. Now, altitude has a cousin. And the cousin's name is attitude. So, altitude is how high you are from the ground and attitude is the pitch at which a plane is directed. So, that's the first concept. So, it's the direction that you lean.
Two will form something so an attitude is the direction you lean. Now, the second part of a new way of thinking about an attitude is the fact that when I ask my father for the car, he said yes, I had a good attitude. When my father said no, I had a bad attitude.
So, what is the second part of the definition of an attitude? It is whether you get what you want or not.
So, the first part is the direction that you lean to something or away from something according to your goal. When you get what you want, when you reach your goal, you have a good or positive attitude.
When you don't get what you want, you have a negative or bad attitude leaning to or from what your goal is. So, all the time that I was growing up and my parents said and teachers would say, "Boy, you need to fix your attitude."
What they were really saying to me was that I need to change my goal. When you change your goal, you change your attitude. How many times have you been in situations where you couldn't change the situation you are in?
You couldn't change your family. You couldn't change your job. You couldn't change even your physical body. The one thing that you can change, that changes your whole outlook on life is to change your goals. So, what are your goals?.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.