Conservation of energy II


Choose to have a good day.

Once, years ago, while I still had my own place in Barclay, I had to go to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for an emergency food voucher.

Now, the normal procedure when you go to DSS, if you have an appointment or want to see your case worker or drop off papers, is to go to the counter, take a number and go sit in the waiting area until the clerk at the counter calls your number and asks what you’re there for.  I had been told that this does not apply when you go for an emergency food voucher; in that case, you go straight to the counter and the clerk deals with you at once.

On this occasion, the clerk told me to take a number and sit in the waiting area.  I said I was there for an emergency food voucher.  She told me to do as said anyway.

Because I had determined hours before to have a good day, my happiness level was high enough that I was able to accept this, take it in stride, and do as I’d been told.  This response conserved my energy.  I sat down, as happy as ever, well-prepared to face whatever might happen next.

Moments later, this woman came in with a toddler in tow; from the look on her face, it was clear she’d determined long before to not have a good day.  She was there for an emergency food voucher, too.  The clerk told her the same as she’d told me.  Her previous choice to not have a good day had drained this woman’s happiness; she did not have the resources to take this in stride, and became more angry than she already was.  Swinging her hips in an exaggerated fashion as she walked to the waiting area, she called out, “Y’ALL black bitches KILL me.”

Her negative response to the situation only drained her energy more.  She was not in good shape to deal well with whatever might happen next.

Happiness is a choice.

Choose to have a good day.

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