He was grinning as I came out of the airport and was holding a board, which had my name. He grinned even farther when he saw my scowl. "Rough flight?" he asked. "You bet," I said as I got into his car. I was there to address a group on the role of the press, but the journey had been anything but comfortable. I looked around at traffic jams and crowded roads and asked surly, "How's this place to live in?" He grinned farther and asked. "You want a story while I drive?" "Shoot!" I said and found his grin contagious.
"There lived an old man who owned a gas station," said my new friend as he drove, "every afternoon he sat in his rocking chair and greeted the motorists as they passed by. One day his granddaughter also sat next to him. A tall man who surely had to be a tourist began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live and seeing the old man walked up to him and asked, "So what kind of town is this?"
"What kind of a town are you from?" asked the old man.
"Where I'm from," said the tourist, "everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbours all gossip about everyone. It's a real negative place and I'm sure glad I've left the place. It's not a cheerful place at all pardner!"
The old man in the rocking chair looked at the stranger and said, "You know, that's how this town is too!"
An hour later a family that was passing through stopped for gas. A mother jumped out with two small children and rushed to where the rest rooms were. The father who had been driving strolled over to the old man and his grand daughter and asked, "Is this town a pretty good place to live?"
"What about the town you are from? How is it?" asked the old man.
"Well," said the man as he watched his family return, "in the town where I come from, everyone is very close and always willing to lend their neighbour a helping hand. There's always a hello and a thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave the place, because I feel almost like we are leaving family!"
The old man in the rocking chair looked at the father and gave him a warm smile, "You know," he said, "that's a lot like this town!" and smiled at his wife and kids as they got back into the car and drove off waving.
"Hey granddad?" asked the puzzled granddaughter, "How come you told the first man it was a terrible place to live and the second it's a wonderful place?"
The old man looked lovingly at his granddaughter's wondering blue eyes and said, "No matter where you go, you take your attitude with you and that's what makes a new place wonderful or terrible!"
"So Tony ?" asked my new friend as he drove, "what were you saying?"
"Nothing!" I said and we both laughed out loud.
~ Author Unknown
"Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can't be done."
~ Bo Bennett