“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive.”

That song by Georgian Travis Tritt has the power of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” but is an optimistic view of life verses Springsteen’s pessimistic view of America. Tritt recognizes there are hard times, but even in the face of them we are blessed. He notes that feeling and revelation does not come from outside sources (“neither drink nor drug induced”). Instead, it is a personal victory claimed from his own recognition of his blessing.

In the past, we all have things we are proud of, some not so proud of (good luck to every seed I’d sown). However, as Charles Swindell notes (quoted at the end of this column) it is our attitude that judges how we face the world and act in it. That is the message we can take from Tritt — and then go forward with our day.

We have had hard times. COVID-19 is clearly the poster child for that. We are also in a time of political unrest, international skullduggery and constant personal challenges. Regardless of the riches or opportunities we have, it is up to us to do the best with what we have (see as illustrative Matthew 25:14-30– the parable of the bags of gold). To us much has been given and much is expected.

Gov. Brian Kemp is leading to get the world back to normal. He recognizes the issues that we have faced and, with preparation and faith in Georgians, sets a path to recovery. The stock market, the value of a piece of art or the success of a restarting of our economy have something in common. Much of how it is viewed and judged will depend on our individual and collective attitudes, and those attitudes will lead us to our future. We can be negative looking for every misstep, or we can take a positive global view and look forward with thanksgiving for our blessings and commit to use those in a positive way

We all have met the challenge and continue to do so. The people of this state bring great skills, work effort and determination to your jobs. We are doing all we can with the resources entrusted to us and making a mark with our best effort. But we are doing more, not just doing, and hopefully with a smile and positive attitude that makes anyone feel good even with the hardships we face.

There is a Native American proverb that says:” Listen to the Wind, it talks: Listen to the Silence, it speaks; Listen to the Heart, it knows.“ We are being told that what is around us and what we put into the environment around us sends a message. Our people commit to sending a message that is positive and forward looking. Because of that feeling that we internally thrive on, we outwardly model it for others.

Let’s take the first, second and third steps with a great attitude. Let’s give Governor Kemp’s plan a chance and accomplish great things. Take a moment and celebrate this day. Click on to listen: Great Day To Be Alive by Georgian Travis Tritt.

Finally, reflect on this essay titled “Attitude” by Charles Swindoll.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”

John Hall is chairman of the Hall Booth Smith law firm in Atlanta.

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