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Useful Idioms and Brilliant Insights from Pop Joe – Owning Your Attitude

By Joey Havens

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We are celebrating my father’s (Pop Joe) 80th birthday this month. As we were planning the celebration, my brother, Mike, sister, Mitzi, and I were laughing about old times and stories when we were growing up in Batesville, MS. While reminiscing, we started remembering some of our favorite sayings that Pop Joe frequently shared with us as kids. There were a few that really resonated and I want to share each one of these in a four-part series to see how they might still apply today. 

The first one is about owning our attitude. Pop Joe loved to remind us, “You can get happy in those same britches you got sad in.” When we would begin to complain or attempt to throw a fit, he was always quick to remind us that we control our attitude. In other words, it was never about our circumstances or unmet desires, it was the state of mind that we were choosing and projecting in ugly ways. (Although, I remember a few times that Mitzi (the youngest sibling and only girl, you get my point) got to change her britches and it seemed to make her feel better.)

When we would start pouting about what we had to do or what we couldn’t do, we knew we were going to hear about our “britches.”

Isn’t that a great lesson for us every day? It is always less about what happens to us and more about how we decide to react to it. So I guess the question for the day is—are we putting on our happy britches? I hope so because Pop Joe also advocated “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Hope you choose a positive attitude today!