So what in the world is “osmosis”? If you think back to all those years you spent in Science class, you may remember that one of the definitions of osmosis is “the gradual, often unconscious, absorption of knowledge or ideas through continual exposure rather than deliberate learning”, as the Encarta Dictionary states it.
Basically, what that means is that a person’s thinking, attitude, and behavior are affected by what they hear, see, and experience whether they mean to change them or not. For example, when your children were growing up, you were probably somewhat selective as to who they spent their time with. You didn’t want them to swear, lie, cheat, or take on the arrogant or disrespectful attitudes of their peers. You knew that they would pick up those things, even without meaning to, and those things would then become a part of them. The same is true of habits. Drinking, smoking, taking drugs, looking at pornography and dozens of other destructive habits can easily become a part of a person’s life when they spend time with others who do those things. That’s not to say everyone isn’t responsible for his or her own behavior, but bad influences will breed more bad influences.
In the same way, positive influences will produce positive results. If your children hung around athletes, they were more likely to become interested in sports and be concerned about their health. If they spent time with those who were diligent about getting good grades, that attitude would have influenced your own childrens study habits.As adults, we often think we’ve outgrown outside influences and that they don’t have the same affect on us. That’s a myth. We are all still human and prone to outside influences. For that reason, who we spend our time with, where we go, and what we do will certainly affect who we become. That’s why it’s so important that we use discretion and be selective.
There’s nothing wrong with watching the evening news, but if you spend hours hearing all the negative stories about government corruption, marital affairs, criminal activity, drug cartels, the chaos overseas, and then take that negative mind set to bed, you can’t be surprised if you awaken with a negative attitude and carry it around with you the following day.
You must make a habit of feeding yourself positive and uplifting thoughts. You’ll sleep more sound and your overall outlook on everything will become more encouraging. Keep a balance and cancel out the negative with the positive. Of course bad things happen in spite of any attitude we may choose to have. We can’t control outside circumstances. However, not only can we control how we perceive and react to them, we must.
I have a friend who is just 39 years old, has three teenagers, and was an avid sportsman. Two years ago he climbed a tree and fell. He was flown to a specialized hospital where it was discovered he had broken his back and would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair as a paraplegic. The next day, after hearing the news, he didn’t curse God as so many would have done. Instead, he thanked God for sparing his life and allowing him to live it in a wheelchair.
Today, he focuses on learning how to do more and more for himself instead of choosing to waste time feeling downtrodden and depressed. He sets goals and looks ahead with anticipation.
It’s people like him; those that choose to carry an attitude of hope and optimism that we should want to be around most. Not only will we become positive through osmosis, we’ll be the light for others, too.
Contributed By Deb Lange