Since I gave birth to a daughter, I don’t know what little boys do, but most little girls pick flowers all the time and often for their mother. I picked any and every kind of flower and flowering weed, but my favorite was the buttercup. When I looked down and saw this patch of buttercups, a flood of memories and emotions came rushing to the forefront of my mind.
With Or Without A Couch
When I was first married to Alyssa’s father, we were young and poor, but it didn’t bother us. In the living room, there were two upright metal chairs with a metal lattice type seat. The chairs were constructed to not rust in all types of weather while outside on a patio or in the yard. We had them inside and they served as our living room furniture. There were also three big square pillows that stacked on the floor and they served as an alternative place to sit instead of the chairs.
It never bothered us that we didn’t have furniture because we didn’t spend a lot of time in the living room anyway. Sorry Alyssa, but it is the honest truth. Our families, however, were crazy over the fact that year after year passed and we didn’t buy furniture. Actually, we didn’t even think much about it because it was at the bottom of our list of priorities.
During the sixteen years we were married, we did eventually buy enough furniture for a house. As I recall, my mother purchased a Cargo furniture couch and Evan’s parents gave us a huge mirror to hang over the dining room table. I guess everyone was at peace because we were furnished.
After the divorce, Alyssa and I once again became furnitureless in the living and dining room. Like her father and I, Alyssa didn’t care much for furniture either, so once again it was low on my priority list of things to purchase. We both enjoyed the open space without any furniture and would pile big pillows around to lounge on while we watched television together. Of course, it drove my family crazy that we didn’t have a couch and eventually my aunt gave us a hand-me-down which I kept in the dining room because I bought one for the living room. It was feast or famine.
Our tastes are simple and that is also reflected in our attitudes. The choices we make show what we hold as important. The low importance we place on furniture is evident in my furnitureless living room over the years. I enjoy having a couch in my living room, but it wouldn’t make or break me if I didn’t own one. There are other things in my life that are far more important than a couch.
A Cheap Yellow Buttercup vs. An Expensive Red Rose
The Creeping Buttercup is one of the most aggressive wildflowers in North America and is extremely difficult to control. It is a very hardy flower and will grow just about anywhere. A buttercup is a weed. They are cheap flowers.
Red roses have many, many petals that are soft and silky to the touch. They just scream love and romance. Roses can be purchased at a florist and are often sold accompanied by tiny, white Gypsophila which are also known as baby’s breath flowers. Roses are not weeds. Purchasing a dozen red roses is rather expensive.
There is a huge difference in looks and perceived value between bright, yellow buttercups and silky, red roses. Notice I used the word “perceived”. We are going to look at this from the flower receiver’s point of view for a moment. When someone receives a bunch of flowers, the value placed on them is completely based on the individual’s attitude. Everyone knows that the rose has a retail value and the buttercup is worthless in the market. However, if truth be told, I would much rather receive a bunch of buttercups from my daughter than a dozen roses from a stranger who wanted to do business with my company. The roses from a stranger would still have a high retail value, look beautiful, smell wonderful, but the buttercups would be priceless to me. Alyssa loves me and if she gave me buttercups, I know she would have been thinking of me and then picked the flowers.
Choice & Attitude Make A Difference
Do I think having a couch or red roses is wrong? Heavens no! I love couches and red roses! This is just a very visual example.
According to Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, attitude is defined in his book Psychological Types as a “readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way”. Attitude is a feeling or emotion that is determined by our choice of how we are going to look at and accept the person, place, thing or circumstance.
Attitude is a choice.
Our attitude makes a difference and it is our choice as to what our attitude will be on any given subject. Do we moan and groan because we don’t have a “couch” or are we totally satisfied with the big fluffy pillows sprawled on the floor? Are we excited when we receive “buttercups” or are we ungrateful because we didn’t receive red roses with baby’s breath instead? Where do we place our priorities? What do we value?
Yes, indeed, what do we value?