According to the Free Dictionary on the Internet there are five definitions to attitude:
1. A position of the body or manner of carrying oneself
2. a. A state of mind or feeling; disposition
b. An arrogant or hostile state of mind or disposition
3. The orientation of an aircraft’s axis relative to a reference line or plane
4. The orientation of a spacecraft relative to its direction of motion
5. A position similar to an arabesque in which a ballet dancer stands on one leg with the other raised either in front or in back and bent at the knee
For the sake of this post I am only concerned with definitions one and two. We all have attitude. It’s what allows us to make it through the day in one piece. Not all attitude is negative and yet when we use that word we are usually referring to someone with bad attitude. Attitude is a word that describes a disposition. It is not a negative or positive, it just is.
Definitions three, four and five refer to attitude as a position in relation to the world around the main item. I would like to posit that one’s psychological attitude is directly related to one’s physical attitude. That actually makes sense if you think about.
The way we deal with the world is in part how we were raised, how others interact with us and how we feel on any given day. On a day when I feel miserable you can bet that my attitude is going to be bad. But on a day when everything is going well my attitude is going to be positive and cooperative.
We use attitude to describe behaviors that we may find distasteful. Is it an accurate way to describe people? Probably not but we describe people based on our own background. We can use the physicality but that only gets you so far. We are so much more than what you see. People are multifaceted, like those Russian nesting dolls there’s more under the next layer.
Here’s a subversive idea for you: people are all the same. We all started in the same place: the primordial sludge and we will all end up in the same place: dust in the wind. Everything else is cosmetic. Physically anyway. The real value is in the kind of person we are. Nice guy versus schmuck. Victim versus tyrant. And what is it that makes one person caring and open and another self centered and cruel? Who knows? What makes one person a savant and another an idiot? Luck of the draw? Why does one person get a disease and another go through life unscathed? You can spend your entire life asking questions that have no answer or you can change the equation. Concentrate on the little picture: you. The big picture is made up of a lot of little pictures. We need to focus on what we can accomplish, on how we live our lives. Do we care about others and try to contribute to the greater good or do we simply exist and only take? We do have it in our power to decide. True immortality is achieved through the memories of others.