A few hours ago, I was in the Charlotte Airport. My parents have been out of the country for two weeks and a day, so I was there to pick them up when their plane landed. I was really glad to see Dad and Mom.
They had a problem. Their luggage did not make it back to Charlotte. So they were missing two suitcases.
I watched them talk with an airline employee about it. My parents stayed calm and cool. They were patient and understanding. The airline employee found out where their bags were and assured them the bags would be delivered to them tomorrow. The whole time they talked, Dad and Mom handled the matter with a lot of class.
Then another man began talking with an airline employee about the same problem. His luggage did not make the flight either. Unlike my parents, he was visibly agitated, very impatient, and not calm at all. Even his body language was full of anger and hostility. I could tell he was becoming unhinged.
There was only one problem. But there were two different reactions. One was calm. The other was chaotic.
This reminded me of something I've learned in life : We can not always control what problems come our way. But we can control how we react to our problems. The choice is ours to make.
How will we respond to adversity? Let's follow the example my parents set. We can stay calm, think it through, and remain pleasant to be around. Choosing that approach is far superior to flying off the handle and saying things that we will later regret.
No matter what happens to you and me, we get to choose how we react. Let's keep our cool and handle ourselves with class. That enables us to think clearly and respond appropriately. And it sets an example for others to follow.