Daily Bread September 22

The 95%/5% Rule
Lloyd Slaght, of Independence, MO, USA

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. All the days of the poor are hard, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. -Proverbs 15:1, 13, 15

In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale says that people like a positive person better than a negative one. So how do I become a positive one, rather than always complaining when something goes wrong?

My wife tells me I worry too much, always planning for the worst case scenario, and always having a “Plan B,” just in case. I awoke one morning with the realization that we are constantly bombarded with news about the 5% negative events in the world, rather than the 95% positive. The news programs show pictures of the fire on Main Street; it is not “late breaking news” to show the 95% of houses that are not on fire. Then they report a traffic accident at a busy intersection, but say nothing about the 100,000 cars that pass through that intersection every day without an accident. The weather report shows pictures of the tornado that caused damage, but does not say much about the 95% of the country that experienced normal weather.

Television stations thrive on the bad, not the good. I volunteer for a police department and have heard many times that “95% of our work is dealing with the 5% who do not respect the law.” So…to become a positive person, one who promotes our core values, faith, hope, joy and love, I need to think about the 95% of things that God gives us each day that uplift people, rather than dwelling on the 5% of problems. It is as simple as that.

I start today being thankful for the good things God has provided, and the good people God has brought into my life, that I may pass on to others the positive.

Prayer Phrase

“Be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants Section 163:10b).

Spiritual Practice

This month, spend time each day noticing where divine grace is already pouring forth. Perhaps it is a simple awareness of creation’s systems and cycles that support our daily existence. The sun rises each day without being asked. There are underlying rhythms and relationships that hold the fabric of our lives together. Sometimes they fall into the background of our lives. We forget to see the natural generosity that spills over throughout our days-of the planet, the people we love, the Sacred Presence in all moments, the kindness of strangers we encounter, and the gifts we carry within. What is already being given in your life? What does it look like to be vulnerable to divine grace today?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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