You never know from where the idea for a story or blog will come. This blog originated as a FaceBook meme. You know those things–sometimes you read them, sometimes you laugh at them, other times you ignore them. If we keep our R.A.D.A.R. on at all times, we find that the world is constantly providing us with ideas, examples, and/or stories that we can use in our training or writing. I wish I could credit the originator of the meme, but no such luck. So, thank you to whomever wrote the original version of this. I, of course, have expanded on the idea and changed the wording. This is not verbatim.

Imagine you are standing somewhere with a cup of hot good coffee. You are about to begin to enjoy your coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, causing you to spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had you had tea or hot chocolate in your cup, you would have spilled tea or hot chocolate. The point is, whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out. That seems obvious, so you might be wondering how does any of this apply to Mandt and what we do?

We are the coffee cup. We fill ourselves with things of our choosing. Some people fill themselves with happiness, positive thoughts and attitudes, gratefulness, peace and humility, and caring for others. Other people choose to fill themselves with jealousy, anger, competitiveness, harsh words, contempt, and rage.

If we are the coffee cup, life is the person that bumps into us. When life comes along and shakes you, which happens to all of us, whatever is inside you will come out. It is easy to fake it, to pretend to treat others with dignity and respect while at work, until you get rattled. When you get rattled, when your cup gets bumped, that is when what is inside comes out. That is when someone you thought was a good staff does something we wish they wouldn’t do. Because that negativity was inside of them, hidden by a mask.

Some may say it is not that simple. I don’t choose to fill myself with negative thoughts, but life gives them to me. Remember, every day we have a choice. We may choose to have a good day or we may choose to have a bad day. Even if we choose to have a good day, that does not mean that the world is obligated to only show us nice things. It is how we react that determines the good or bad day. If we can remember to affirm the feeling and choose the behavior, then the feelings and attitudes inside of us come out even when life bumps us.

Dr. Dale Shannon – Mandt Faculty