It’s All in the Punctuation

July 18, 2009


My friend Karen and I were talking the other day about my lack of motivation to go to work that day.  She recounted an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show from years ago where Mary was having the same difficulty.  Mary was talking to Ted saying, “You get up in the morning.  You shower.  You put on your makeup.  You have your breakfast.  You go to work. It just happens day after day.”  Ted told her she had to look at it differently.  He said “You get up in the morning!  You shower!  You put on your makeup! You have your breakfast! You go to work!”  This is just the jist of the conversation as Karen remembered it, but it really got me thinking.  The key to the whole thing is really in the punctuation.

Our attitudes about what we do are the difference between it being a joy or a chore.  I can choose to complain about going to work, or I can be happy I have a job.  I can be upset with how little money is in my checkbook, or I can be happy I have a roof over my head and food on the table. 

I remember years back when a man from our church went to India.  When he came back and spoke to the church, he was almost too overwhelmed to describe what he saw.  One thing he said made a huge impact on me.  He said, “We have no idea how rich we are.” 

I have stood at times since then in front of my pantry and thought how someone from underdeveloped nations would see it – they would not be able to imagine such riches.  They would think I was rich just to have so much food to choose from each day.

So tomorrow morning and all the mornings after I am going to try to be like Ted Baxter.  I am going to get out of bed!  I’m going to shower!  I’m going to choose something from my rich pantry and eat breakfast!  I’m going to put on my makeup!  And I’m going to go to the job I am grateful to have!

It’s all in the punctuation.


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