The Two Choices

Ahmed was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. He was a restaurant manager who won the respect of his waiters because he was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Ahmed was there telling him how to look on the positive side of the situation. I asked Ahmed one day: `You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?' Ahmed replied, `Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Ahmed, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or show them the positive side.'

Several years later I heard that Ahmed had been shot in an armed robbery. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Ahmed was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw him 6 months after the incident and asked him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. Ahmed replied: `As I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had 2 choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

When they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action.' `What did you do?' I asked. `Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said Ahmed. `She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I'm choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead!'
Pain in life is inevitable, but misery is an option.