Check Your Attitude

One of the keys to effective communication is to exude a positive attitude as you deal with people. That is not always easy. You burn your tongue drinking too hot McDonald’s coffee.  You sit for 30 minutes on the interstate because of roadwork. Not conducive to a positive attitude!

Think about daily life in other countries. In Brazil where we are two weeks into a mission project, I have already learned to appreciate  the blessings of living in the United States.  When discussing the meaning of “robbed” with a 20-year-old student,  I wanted to see if he understood the meaning in context. I asked him, “Have you ever been robbed?”

His answer was, “Yes, seven times.  It is common where I live.”

The same young man came to our reading session on a motorcycle and made the statement, “This is the only kind of transportation besides a bus that I can afford. It is very dangerous. People do not obey the laws of driving and pay little attention to people on motorcycles.”

In the USA, drinking water is available at any water fountain, but in Brazil you drink only bottled water.  Water from faucets and showers is not safe:  don’t drink it.

At home, we sometimes get frustrated when we have to wait in line at a grocery store.  At our visit to a local grocery store last week, we waited in line 50 minutes.

The people of Brazil are very friendly and helpful and they don’t complain at all about the inconveniences I mentioned above. I see how spoiled I am, living in the United States all of my life.  When I get back to the States, I trust I can check my attitude with this reminder of what life is all about for many  people in other parts of the world.







Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at

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