No. 1096



The other day I read a very sad statistic -- in every 40 seconds, somewhere in the world, a person commits suicide. It is safe to say that these people were not having a good day, as they committed the most tragic act of all. They had simply given up hope and saw no other way out.
Personally, I would consider this column to be a success if I could keep even one person from doing this, as life is the most precious gift we are given. Without question, one thing that has served me well is that I have formed the habit of being a very positive, optimistic person. I do my best to see the good in others, my own special privilege to serve others, and to be grateful for all the opportunities I have in this great country.
If you are not just naturally a positive person, how about trying something that could help you a great deal and even possibly save your life. Here is what I want to suggest that you try -- when you get out of bed each day, repeat this poem “A New Day,” written by Dr. Heartsill Wilson.
“This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it, or use it for good. What I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be gain not loss, good not evil, SUCCESS not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it.”
After doing this for a good period of time, when someone asks the question, “How Was Your Day?” you will be able to respond on most days by saying, “It was fantastic.” You see, actions trigger feelings and feelings trigger actions. It is the same with success -- if you want to be more successful, just begin to think and act like you are already successful. Before long it will come to pass. Now please don’t misunderstand, I am not talking a “pie in the sky” kind of thinking. Whatever we want out of life, we have to work, earn, and pay the price for it. Sadly, this is something a lot of parents are not teaching their children.
In the long run we don’t really help those who depend on us by doing things for them or giving them things they don’t earn. We all need encouragement -- I need it and you need it. But that encouragement needs to help us grow up and accept responsibility for ourselves. I can promise you this, other than those people who have a terminal medical condition, the ones who commit suicide never came to understand what I have been sharing here.
In my own life I have found what works best for me is to forget myself and think of others, and what I can do to help them. Following is a poem I found by an unknown author that says it better than I ever could.
“Is anybody happier because you passed this way? Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today? The day is almost over and its toiling time is through, is there anyone to utter now a kindly word to you? Can you say tonight in parting with the day that’s slipping past; that you helped a single being of the many that you passed? Is a single heart rejoicing over what you said or did? Does the man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day or lose it; was it well or poorly spent? Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say, “You have earned one more tomorrow, by the work you did today?”
By the way: How Was Your Day?
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)