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You Choose How You React

By Joey Havens

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Choosing Concept

I look over to my left and all I can see is coke running everywhere. Thinking, “we have been on the plane a total of one minute, what a mess,” I resist the urge to say anything. Instead, I sit here laughing as I push the airline stewardess button to request some napkins.

My grandson Davis (16) and I are headed to Omaha to cheer on our Rebels in the national championship series. Having boarded the plane, Davis let down his tray and placed his large coke on it. Just now, he knocked it sideways and the top was not on securely and we have coke all over the tray and dripping onto the floor. Yuck!

The stewardess looked down and said, “Oh my!”

Davis, looking sheepishly at me, “Leave it to me, Pops.”

“You can’t take me anywhere. HAHA”

Smiling, I just nod and hand the napkins over to him. I must say he did a great job cleaning it up under the extremely watchful eye of the stewardess. Now that she is satisfied, we are set for takeoff.

Upon first sight of the mess, my first instinct was to be upset with him for being so careless. There are two aspects to this instinct: first, overreact, especially if embarrassing (this has always been my quick, uncontrolled tendency). Second, Davis is constantly being careless, like he is not even in this world sometimes, so maybe some harsh feedback would wake him up.

We face these choices daily at work and in our personal lives. That’s the key point to this blog — we have CHOICES in how we react to bad news, accidents or even bad behavior. We are in control of our reactions, our words and our actions.

Making wise choices in our reactions leads to better outcomes, better memories, stronger influence and most of all, better relationships. Too often I have let my tendencies control my reactions and my words rather than demonstrating more control and seeking a stronger relationship.

And… Davis has just dropped his phone, resulting in his almonds and snacks flying around. How many wise choices do we need to make? Good luck! And Hotty Toddy, Go Rebs!