I watched the American Film Institute last evening honor actor Denzel Washington with the lifetime achievement award. When it was his turn to speak, after Spike Lee presented Denzel with the award, Denzel played a 30 second video clip of his father-in-law passing these thoughts onto him: “Always be in a loving mood. You have to love all mankind.” That Denzel Washington would use this clip impressed me and what his father-in-law said left me with lasting inspiration that I went out and practiced the next day. How did I do this?
I decided that I heard Denzel’s father-in-law for a reason and that reason was to put into practice a loving attitude at all times. The following morning I had to wake up earlier than usual for some medical tests. I did not sleep well the night before and had no coffee or breakfast having not eaten for the previous 21 hours because one of the tests was a blood panel. I was, to say the least, groggy and grouchy. In my morning haze, I remembered the mantra, always be in a loving mood” and decided that no matter my annoyance at having to go to a medical clinic being tired and hungry, I would practice a loving mood.
When I got to the clinic, I simply smiled and asked everyone how they were doing. I treated everyone with happiness and pleasure. The outcome? The amount of time I spent at the clinic was much shorter than I thought it was going to be and my engagement with everyone there was positive and enjoyable.
I practiced being in a loving mood even though I felt tired and grouchy and soon found my irritable self transformed into a happier, more buoyant self. I had accomplished my goal of being in a loving mood and left everyone at the clinic in a more loving mood and because of Denzel’s inspiring
reminder, I broke out of my ego’s clutch and brought a lighter mood to the world leaving others in a happier frame of mind.
Yes, I experienced what Denzel’s father-in-law espoused because sometimes you have to be contrary to how your ego wants to behave when you’re tired, hungry and grouchy and that is to be petulant and angry.