Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

“Our attitudes control our lives," said Irving Berilin. Israel Baline his name was when he was born in eastern Russia on this day in 1888, a difficult time and a deadly difficult place for baby Israel's parents and all other Jewish people living in the land of the Tsar, the Cossacks, and the pogroms. In time, the Balines and thousands more fled Russia for the United States. In more time, spent hawking newspapers in the unimaginably tough, teeming slums of New York City, the child grew up to be the most successful songwriter ever and I'm thinking that he was living proof of this notion, of the power of one's take on the world. "Attitudes," he went on to write, "are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”
Were it not for the fact that I totally need to set this blogification aside and get down to proper, official work, I'd link Mr. Berlin's thinking on personal attitude with a pondering on the extent to which one can truly change one's customary [inherited? learned?] attitude or is one forever stuck. And speaking of forever stuck, it was also on this day in history, in 1811, that conjoined twins Chang and Eng were born in Siam (present-day Thailand) and if ever there were a pair of fellows who had to master their attitudes! I reckon that the "Siamese Twins" did, for good or bad. God, I hope so. For that matter, my own attitude could use some harnessing. Off I go to do so.

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