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ATTITUDE 4'?m3f Is your attitude affected by your circumstances?

JOY -- (enters opposite with Liz smiling, wearing business suit, 
crossing to Man) Well, we finally made it. (holds up dollar, 
shouts) Paper.

LIZ -- (enters with Joy, wearing business suit) I can't believe 
you're still smiling.

MAN -- (sullen, shabbily dressed, carrying a stack of newspapers 
enters, crosses shouting) Papers. Get your papers. Hey, Papers. 
Get your papers.

JOY -- (hold up hand, shout) Paper. (pulls out dollar bill)

MAN -- (offers paper) I ain't got no change, lady. What do you 
think I am, a bank?

JOY -- Keep the change then. (gives money takes paper, stops, 
reads headlines)

MAN -- (gives paper takes dollar, sarcastic) How generous. I can 
now afford a vacation in Tahiti. Move along. This ain't no 
library, you know. 

JOY -- (ignores Man, strolls) Oh, the Fed is raising interest 
rates a quarter per cent. Do you know what that will do to the 
bond market?

MAN -- (continues slowly to far exit shouting) Papers. Get your 
papers. Hey Papers. Get your papers.

LIZ -- That paper boy always treats you like dirt. How can you 
treat him so nicely day after day?

JOY -- (looks up from paper) Huh? 

LIZ -- How can you always be so cheerful? We had a flat tire 
this morning. Some jerk cut you off on the freeway and almost 
caused an accident and now this lowlife paper boy insults your 
generosity. How do you do it?

JOY -- I made a discovery a few years ago. 

LIZ -- What discovery?

JOY -- I have a choice.

LIZ -- A choice.

JOY -- Yes. I can choose my attitude.

LIZ -- I... I don't understand.

JOY -- It started years ago when I was in an argument with my 
mother. I told her "You make me mad." She said, "I can't make 
you clean your room. I can't make you do your homework. How is 
it that I can make you mad?" And you know, she was right.

LIZ -- Maybe I'm not concentrating, but after a flat tire and 
being cut off on the freeway, if that paperboy said that to me, 
I'd pop him in the nose.

JOY -- If you did, you'd be letting another person control your 
mind.

LIZ -- Wo. That's heavy duty.

JOY -- Well, isn't it true? If you let the words or actions of a 
stranger push your buttons, aren't you letting him control you?

LIZ -- Oh. Yeah. I suppose I am. That's, like, a major 
breakthrough, huh? You could write a book.

JOY -- Actually, it wasn't all that clever. My mother had been 
saying that to me for years. And it didn't sink in until I read 
a letter that Apostle Paul wrote from prison. He was about to 
die at the hands of the Romans, but his letter to his friends 
was completely free of bitterness. It was joyful and hopeful. I 
couldn't believe it. I thought "this guy must be faking it." But 
he wasn't.

LIZ -- He wasn't?

JOY -- No. About a week after I read Paul's letter I read the 
story of Job way back in the Old Testament.

LIZ -- Job.

JOY -- Yeah, Job. It's the oldest book in the Bible. Early in 
the story, Job's children all were killed, thieves stole his 
livestock, he got sick with this painful disease, but instead of 
crying about it, he goes on for forty chapters praising the 
Lord. 

LIZ -- No kidding.

JOY -- No kidding. I mean, the message is crystal clear. Your 
circumstances don't HAVE to determine your attitude. You can let 
people push your buttons or you can push your own.

LIZ -- I'll bet it's not that easy. You should write a self-help 
book about it.

JOY -- (continues to opposite exit) There's already a self-help 
book.

LIZ -- There is?

JOY -- It's called the Bible.

LIZ -- (follows) The Bible! Aw, come on! That's way too simple.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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