I was cresting a hill and when it hit me—that noxious skunk aroma. It permeated my car—with the windows closed—and yet I couldn’t see a dead skunk on the road anywhere. Where was that odor coming from?
About a half a mile down the road, I finally encountered the skunk carcass. And then the smell lasted another half mile or so in the other direction.
How can something so small have such a pungent reach?! At least an entire square mile was filled with wrinkled-up noses and expressions of disgust. I don’t know how long it had been dead, but until it passed its smell-by date, thousands of cars would drive by, thousands of people would be affected by its stinky release.
I started thinking about another thing that sometimes stinks—my attitude. How many people does it affect when I get crabby and irritable or upset because I didn’t get my way? My “lucky” husband, Les, has to endure Ground Zero of the odorific release. Coworkers, fellow drivers, and store cashiers brush up against my fetid prickliness.
But people who never even see my carcass suffer from my stench, too, when people I’ve infected pass on the stinky attitude. How far might it go?
Too far. Bad attitudes continue to spread their noxious infection.
Yes, we all have bad days. But before I get in a funk because life didn’t go the way I planned, or I slept badly, or the scale was mean to me, maybe I should think first. Think of the innocents with wrinkled-up noses and expressions of disgust. And straighten up already!
Unlike the skunk, I can change my odor from stench to fragrance. I can choose to be kind, to smile, to encourage, to be unselfish. That’s something we could all use a big whiff of.