Caring for our attitude PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 July 2016 14:36

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

It’s unfortunate that the word “attitude” has fallen into disrepute. Nowadays when you hear that someone has an attitude, it means he has a bad temper, or has an evil way of looking at things, etc. It has become a catch-all for everything that can be negative in a person.

I am sure it’s one of those sweeping, thoughtless generalizations that sometimes happen when we seem dominated by a certain kind of event. It’s a case of branding and stereotyping, similar to the Colgate of old to refer to toothpaste in general, etc.

But attitude is something we cannot avoid. It’s part of our system, of our being persons who think and choose, who certainly have a sense of how things are and ought to be. It can refer to our dispositions toward everything in life. It’s the more permanent fruit of how we correspond to our consciences.

In fact, we need to see to it that our attitudes are taken care of. They should be properly cultivated, equipped and oriented. They should not be just left alone to develop by themselves, driven mainly by shallow considerations—emotions and passions, fads and fashions, all sorts of social conditionings, etc.

In these times with so many challenges, difficulties and other tricky elements, we have to see to it that our attitudes are well established. They are precisely those very intimate, internal principles, the basic expression and language of our heart that need to be guided and protected.

It’s our attitude that determines how we behave before different situations, issues, challenges, etc. It tells us when to be calm or agitated, patient or impatient, gentle or assertive, etc.

For Christian believers, the standard, of course, is Jesus Christ, who said he is “the way, the truth and the life” for us. He is in fact who and what we ought to be, the very pattern of our humanity, our source and end, our redeemer.

Let’s hope that we can be more aware of this need, and skilled to handle our obligation toward it. We cannot deny the patent  fact that many suffer rom serious attitudinal problems, all crying for help. Objectively, that is, and not quite subjectively, since many may not realize they have such problems.

There’s a lot of apathy and indifference towards others.

If not that, then there’s a lot of rash judgments and invasive critical thoughts towards them. Many just coast along in life, drifting without a clear sense of purpose. All of these indicate neglect and malformation in the care of our attitudes.

With the rise of technological progress, for example, we can see that while there is marked improvement in the quality of life for some, there’s also the downside that many misuse or abuse this development

The phenomenon of the social media, like the Facebook and the Twitter, is a case in point. While these electronic facilities expedite our communications, the problem now is what to communicate.

Many people do not realize that the rise of technology is also calling for a rise in our sense of purpose.

Obviously, if we just keep ourselves at the level of greeting and communicating trivia, it will not be long before we deteriorate into gossiping and quarrelling over petty things.

Or we lapse into being just a passive observer, mainly wasting time. And what time we can waste just reading the postings there! Or we simply stop using them, which is quite a waste of resources given the many golden opportunities these technological advances can give us.

We need to have a clearer and higher sense of purpose to match the quantum leap of advantages these electronic devices provide us. Otherwise, we end up spoiled by them, confused and swallowed by their intoxicating properties, and later, enslaved by them. I don’t think this is just theory. It’s a very likely possibility.

We need to develop programs to address this urgent and widespread need. Technology has not only accelerated our pace of life.

It also has increased our challenges, this time, more subtle and yet no less important and crucial. We have to help one another in discerning things and equipping ourselves with the proper attitudes.

This task can actually be pioneered by anyone. But most likely the best setting would be the families and the schools that are continually monitoring the developments around.

Parents and teachers should get together to plot out relevant strategies, always getting guidance from the Church and other moral authorities and experts. But the main focus should be the instilling of the proper attitudes in everyone.