Contagious Attitudes – A Tale of Two Traffic Cops

Contagious attitudes - a tale of two traffic copsContagious Attitudes – They’re Everywhere!

Each morning throughout the school year I hop into the mini-van with my 12-year-old daughter and drive her the short distance to her school. Because neither of us are really morning people, it’s a pretty quiet and peaceful drive.  At least it used to be, before we ran into a seriously contagious attitude.

Traffic Cop Number 1

It all began on the first day of the sixth grade. (her sixth grade, not mine… way too far back to remember) There was a long line of cars backed up along the road that was typically a mostly empty street. After an agonizingly slow crawl down the street, we finally found the source of the hold up…  a new traffic cop.

This darling lady had most definitely taken her traffic schooling from an army drill sergeant who was having a very very bad decade. She was blowing her whistle and angrily jerking her arms around at every single car who passed.  The same cars who were now running late because she was holding up a normally smooth flow of traffic.

It probably goes without saying that she was getting some not so pleasant hand gestures of her own right back at her. Since my Christianity doesn’t really kick in until after I’ve had a cup of coffee, I can’t say that my attitude was 100% kind either. Well, in fact… I was pi??ed. I vented for rest of the drive to the school.

Breanna was upset because she was late, and I was angry that I’d have to see this lady every morning for the foreseeable future. When I finally pulled up to her school in a purely rotten mood, I noted yet another new traffic cop. My morning was not improving.

Traffic Cop Number 2

I pulled up to the new obstacle and was met with one of the most pleasant smiles I’ve ever encountered from a traffic cop. When she waved traffic along, it was more like a grandmother patting you on the back and saying, “Go ahead, honey.”  Seriously, this traffic cop was handing out virtual hugs as she gracefully orchestrated the morning traffic congestion with ease.

Over the next few months, I began falling into a new routine. I pre-braced myself for the abrasive attitude of traffic cop number one, and then warmed up my smile before I pulled up to traffic cop number 2. Recently, I realized how much their attitudes have the ability to affect my own.

Contagious Attitudes – We all have them!

I don’t talk to these ladies.  I don’t work with them.  I don’t know their names.  I only see them for about 30 seconds each day, but they have incredibly contagious attitudes.  With their smiles and with their frowns, they affect the way I drive, the things I think about, and the way that I treat my daughter.

You and I have that same incredible power. Our attitudes are the most contagious aspect of our nature.  Today, your smile, or possibly your lack of smile, is going to affect the life of someone else – possibly in a very significant way.

You may not know their name.  You may not even talk to them, but their experience of life today is going to be different because they came in contact, no matter how indirectly, with your attitude.

All of us have a contagious attitude.  Ask yourself this question today, “What am I spreading?”  Is your attitude like an air-borne disease, or is it more like the awesome smell of fresh-baked cookies? Here’s my challenge for you today… smile at a stranger for no reason at all.

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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