During childhood, we form attitudes that last a lifetime. Undoubtedly, it would be a lot easier and better to have acquired a positive attitude during our formative years. Does that mean if we acquire a negative attitude, whether by design or by default, we are stuck with it? Of course not. Can we change? Yes. Is it easy? Absolutely not. How do you build and maintain a positive attitude?
- Become aware of the principles that build a positive attitude
- Desire to be positive
- Cultivate the discipline and dedication to practice those principles
As adults, regardless of our environment, education, and experience, who is responsible for our attitude? We are. We have to accept responsibility some time in our lives. We blame everyone and everything but ourselves. It is up to us to choose our attitude every morning. As adults, we need to accept responsibility for our behavior and actions.
People with negative attitudes will blame the whole world, their parents, teachers, spouse, the economy, and the government for their failures. You have to get away from the past. Dust yourself off, get back into the mainstream. Put your dreams together and move forward. Thinking of the positive things that are true, honest and good, will put us in a positive state of mind. If we want to build and maintain a positive attitude, we need to consciously practice the following steps:
Step 1: Change focus, look for the positive
We need to become good finder. We need to focus on the positive in life. Let’s start looking for what is right in a person or situation instead of looking for what is wrong. Because of our conditioning, we are so attuned to finding fault and looking for what is wrong that we forget to see the positive picture.
Even in paradise, fault finders will find faults. Most people find what they are looking for. If they are looking for friendship, happiness and the positive, that what they get. If they are looking for fights or indifference, then that is what they get. Caution – looking for the positive does not mean overlooking faults.
Looking for the gold – As a young Scots boy, Andrew Carnegie came to America and started doing odd jobs. He ended up as one of the largest steel manufacturers in the United States. Someone asked Mr. Carnegie how he dealt with people? Andrew Carnegie replied, “Dealing with people is like digging gold: When you go digging for an ounce of gold, you have to move tons of dirt to get an ounce of gold. But when you digging, you don’t looking for the dirt, you go looking for the gold”. What is your focus? Become a digger for gold. If you are looking for what is wrong with people or with things, you will find many. What are you looking for? Andrew Carnegie’s reply has a very important message. There is something positive in every person and every situation. Sometimes we have to dig deep to look for the positive because it may not be apparent. Besides, we are so used to looking for what is wrong with other people and situations; we forget to see what is right. Someone once said that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Remember – when you go looking for gold, you have to move tons of dirt to get an ounce of gold. But when you go looking, you don’t go looking for the dirt, you go looking for the gold.
Negative people will always criticize – Some people criticize no matter what. It does not matter which side you are on, they are always on the other side. They have made a career out of criticizing. They are “career critics”. They will find fault with every person and situation. You will find people like this in every home, family, office. They go around finding fault and telling everybody how bad things are and blaming the whole world for their problems. We have a name for this people. They are called energy suckers. They will go up the cafeteria and drown themselves in 20 cups of tea and coffee and smoke to their hearths’ content with one excuse they are trying to relax. All that they are doing is causing more tension for themselves and for others around them. They spread negative messages like a plague and create an environment conducive to negative results.
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. On the banks of the Hudson River he was displaying his new invention. The pessimists and the skeptics were gathered around to observed. They commented that it would never start. Lo and behold, it did. As it made its way down the river, the pessimists who said it would never go, started shouting that it would never stop. What an attitude!
Some people always look for the negative – There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world that could walk on water. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this miracle. At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend to go duct hunting. After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about this amazing dog, but never got one. As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog. The friend replied, “Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can’t swim”.
Some people always look at the negative side. Who is a pessimist? Pessimists …
- Are unhappy when they have no troubles to speak of
- Feel bad when they feel good, for fear they will feel worse when they feel better
- Spend most of their life at complaint counters
- Always turn out the lights to see how dark it is
- Are always looking for cracks in the mirror of life
- Stop sleeping in bed when they hear that more people die in bed than anywhere else
- Can’t enjoy their health because they think they may be sick tomorrow
- Not only expect the worst but make the worst of whatever happens
- Don’t see the doughnut, only the hole
- Believe the sun shines only to cast shadows
- Forget the blessings and count their troubles
- Know that hard work never hurts anyone but believe “why take a chance?”
Who is an optimist? It is well described by the following:
Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.
Step 2: Make a habit of doing it now
We have all procrastinated at some time in our lives. I know I have, only to have regretted it later. Procrastination leads to a negative attitude. The habit of procrastination fatigues you more than the effort it takes to do it. A complete task is fulfilling and energizing; an incomplete task drains energy like a leak from a tank. If you want to build and maintain a positive attitude, get into the habit of living in the present and doing it now.
He slept beneath the moon
He basked beneath the sun
He lived a life of going to do
And died with nothing done
When I become a big boy – This is like a little boy who says when I become a big boy, I will do this, and this and I will be happy. And when he becomes a big boy he says, when I finish college and do this and this and I will be happy. And when he finishes college he says when I get my first job and do this and this and I will be happy. And when he gets his first job he says when I get married and do this and this and then I will be happy. And when he gets married he says when the kids get out of school and I do this and this I will be happy. And when the kids get out school, he says when I retire and do this and this, I will be happy. And when he retires what does he see? He sees life has just gone by in front of his eyes.
Some people practice procrastination by hiding behind high sounding words, saying “I’m analyzing” and six months later they will still analyzing. What they don’t realize is that they are suffering from a disease called; “Paralysis of Analysis” and they will never succeed.
Then there is another breed of people who procrastinated by saying “I’m getting ready” and a month later they are still getting ready and six months later they are still getting ready. What they don’t realize is they are suffering from a disease called “Excusitis”. They keep making excuses.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. I don’t care what philosophy you believe in – we have got only one shot at this game called life. The stakes are too high. The stakes are the future generations. What time is it and where are we? The answer is now and we are here. Let’s make the best of now and utilize the present to the fullest. The message is not that we don’t need to plan for the future. The message is that we do need to plan for the future. If we utilize our present to its fullest, we are sowing the seeds for a better future automatically, isn’t we? If you want to build a positive attitude, learn the phrase, “does it now”, and stop the habit of procrastination.
The saddest words in life are:
- “It might have been.”
- “I should have.”
- “I could have.”
- “I wish I had.”
- “If only I had given a little extra.”
Never leave till tomorrow which you can do today.
I am sure all winners wanted to be procrastinators but never got around to it. When people say, “I will do it one of these days,” you can be sure it means none of these days. Some people keep waiting for all lights to turn green before they leave home. That will never happen and they fail even before they start. That is sad. Stop procrastinating: isn’t it time that we put off putting things off?
Step 3: Develop an attitude of gratitude
Count your blessings, not your troubles. Take time to smell the roses. It is not uncommon to hear that someone, because of an accident or illness, became blind or paralyzed but won a million dollars in settlement. How many of us would like to trade places with that person? Not many. We are so focused on complaining about things we don’t have that we lose sight of the things we have. There is a lot to be thankful for.
When I say count your blessings, not your troubles, the message is not become complacent. If complacence was the message you got, then I would be guilty of faulty communication and you of selective listening. To give you an example of selective listening, let me share with you a story I heard about a medical doctor who was invited as a guest speaker to address a group of alcoholics. He wanted to make a demonstration that would be powerful enough to make people realize that alcohol was injurious to their health. He had two containers, one with pure distilled water, and one with pure alcohol. He put an earthworm into the distilled water and it swam beautifully and came up to the top. He put another earthworm into the alcohol and it disintegrated in front of everyone’s eyes. He wanted to prove that this was what alcohol did inside of our body. He asked the group what the moral of the story was and one person behind said, “If you drink alcohol you won’t have worms in your stomach”. Was that the message? Of course not. That was selective listening – we hear what we want to hear and not what is being said.
May of our blessings is hidden treasure – count your blessings and not your troubles.
Step 4: Get into a continuous education program
Let’s get some myths out of the way. It is a general belief that we get educated in schools and colleges. Do we really get educated in schools and colleges? Generally, there is a consensus that some do but most don’t. we receive a lot of information in schools and colleges. We don’t need information to be educated. But we need to know the true meaning of education.
Intellectual education influences the head and values-based education influences the heart. In fact, education that does not train the heart can be dangerous. If we want to build character in our offices, homes and society, we must achieve a minimum level of moral and ethical literacy. Education that builds fundamental traits of character – such as honesty, compassion, courage, persistence, and responsibility – is absolutely essential. We don’t need more academic education; we need more values education. I would stress that a person who is morally educated will be a lot better equipped to move up in life or succeed than a morally bankrupt person with excellent academic qualifications. Character building and teaching values and ethics come in the formative years because child is not born with this knowledge.
Education without values – True education is training of both the head and the heart. An uneducated thief may steal from the freight car but an educated one may steel the entire railroad.
Universities are turning out highly skilled barbarians because we don’t provide a framework of values to young people, who more and more searching for it.
Steven Muller, president, John Hopkins University
We need to compete for knowledge and wisdom, not for grades. Knowledge is piling up facts, wisdom is simplifying it. One could have good grades and degree without learning much. The most important thing one can learn is to “learn to learn”. People confuse education with the ability to memorize facts. Education of the mind without morals creates a menace to society.
Education does not mean good judgment – There is a story about a man who sold hotdogs by the roadside. He was illiterate, so he never read newspaper. He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs. His sales profit went up. He ordered more meat and got himself a bigger and better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from college, joined his father.
Then something strange happened. The son asked, “Dad, aren’t you aware of the greatest recession that is coming our way?” The father replied, “No, but tell me about it”. The son said, “The international situation is terrible. The domestic is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad time.” The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, and listen to the radio, he ought to know, and his advice should not be taken lightly. So the next day, the father cut down his order for the meat and buns, took down the sign and was no longer enthusiastic. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand. And his sales started coming down rapidly. The father said to his son, “Son, you were right. We are in the middle of a recession. I am glad you warned me ahead of time.”
What is the moral of the story?
- Many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment.
- A person may have high intelligence but poor judgment.
- Choose your advisor carefully and use your judgment.
- A person can and will be successful with or without formal education if they have the 5Cs.
- The tragedy is that there are many walking encyclopedias who are living failures.
Intelligence is quickness to learn. Ability is the skill to apply what is learned. Competence is the ability and the desire to apply what is learned. Desire is the attitude that makes a skillful person competent. Many skillful people are incompetent. Ability without the right attitude is wasted.
The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not trade; character, not technicalities.
Educated – Whom, then, do I call educated?
First, those who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day; and those who can judge situations appropriately as they arise and rarely miss the suitable course of action. Next, those who are honorable in their dealings with all men, bearing easily what is unpleasant or offensive in others, and being as reasonable with their associates as is humanly possible. Furthermore, those who hold their pleasures always under control and are not unduly overcome by their misfortunes, bearing up under them bravely and in a manner worthy of our common nature.
Most important of all, those who are not spoiled by their successes, who do not desert their true selves, but hold their ground steadfastly as wise and sober-minded men, rejoicing no more in the good things that have come to them through chance than in those which through their own nature and intelligence are their since birth.
Those who have a character which is in accord, not with one of these things, but with all of them these are educated – possessed of tall the virtues.
Socrates (470-399 B.C)
In a nutshell, educated person are those who can choose wisely and courageously under any circumstances. If they have the ability to choose between wisdom and foolishness, between good and bad, between virtuousness and vulgarities, regardless of the academic degrees they have, then they are educated. All expert is someone who knows all the answers if you ask the right questions.
What is a broad-based education? – Some animals in a forest decided to start a school. The students included a bird, a squirrel, a fish, a dog, a rabbit, and a mentally retarded eel. A board was formed and it was decided that flying, tree climbing, swimming, and burrowing would be part of the curriculum in order to give a broad-based education. All animals were required to take all subjects.
The bird was excellent at flying and was getting As but when it came to burrowing, it kept breaking its beak and wings and started failing. Pretty soon, it started making Cs in flying and of course in tree climbing and swimming it was getting Fs. The squirrel was great at tree climbing and was getting As, but was failing in swimming. The fish was the best swimmer but couldn’t get out of the water and got Fs in everything else. The dog didn’t joint the school, stop paying taxes and kept fighting with the administration to include barking as part of the curriculum. The rabbit got As in burrowing but tree climbing was a real problem. It kept falling and landing on its head, suffered brain damage, and soon couldn’t even burrow properly and got Cs in that too. The mentally retarded eel, who did everything half as well, became the valedictorian of the class. The board was happy because everybody was getting a broad-based education.
What a broad-based education really means is that the student is prepared for life, without losing their areas of specialization or competence.
We are all gifted with some strength – The small size of the hummingbird, weighing only a tenth of an ounce, gives it the flexibility to perform complicated maneuvers, such as beating its wings 75 times a second. This enables the hummingbird to drink nectar from flowers while hovering but it cannot soar, glide, or hop. The ostrich, at 300 pounds, is the largest bird but it can’t fly. However its leg is so strong that it can run at up to 50 miles per hour, taking strides of 12-15 feet.
Ignorance – Illusion of knowledge is not education, but ignorance. Foolish people have a strange kind of confidence which comes only with ignorance.
Being ignorance is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn to do things the right way.
There is nothing wrong with ignorance, but making a career out of it is stupidity. Some people accumulate ignorance and they confuse it with education. Ignorance is not bliss. It is misery, tragedy, poverty, and sickness. If ignorance were bliss, how come not more people are happy? If a little knowledge is dangerous, so is a lot of ignorance which leads to pettiness, fear, dogmatism, egotism, and prejudice. Wisdom is nothing more than dispelling ignorance.
We live in an information age. It is estimated that the amount of knowledge is doubling every year. With information so readily available, it is easy to dispel ignorance. It is sad to see that we are taught everything but the most essential things. We are taught the three Rs (reading, riting, rithmetic), but what good is intellectual education without understanding human dignity and compassion? Schools are a fountain of knowledge: some students come to drink, some to sip and others just to gargle.
Commonsense – Education and knowledge without commonsense has little meaning. Commonsense is the ability to see things as they are and do them as they ought to be done.
We are born with five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. But successful people have six senses – commonsense. Commonsense is gained in spite of, not necessarily as a result of, education. The best education without commonsense is worthless. An abundance of commonsense is called wisdom.
Sharpen your ax – John, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise. The company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise. This caused resentment in John and he went to his boss to talk about it. The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago. We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.” John went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees. He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma. The boss told John to go talk to Bill. “May be there is something Bill knows that you and I don’t.” John asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees. Bill answered, “After every tree I cut, I take a break for two minutes and sharpen my ax. When was the last time you sharpened your ax?” This question hit home like a bullet and John got his answer. My question is, when was your last time you sharpened your ax? Past glory and education don’t do it. We have to continuously sharpen the ax.
Feed your mind – Just like our bodies need good food every day, our minds need good thoughts every day. The key words in the preceding sentence are good food and good thoughts. If we feed our body with junk food and our mind with bad thoughts, we will have both a sick body and mind. We need to feed our mind with the pure and the positive to stay on track. Through constant practice and exposure, we can learn the principles that make a person successful just like we learn to play basketball.
Knowledge is power – We hear every day that knowledge is power. Not really. Knowledge is information. It is potential power and it becomes power only when it is acted upon. What is the difference between a person who cannot read and a person who can but does not read? Not a whole lot. Learning is like eating food. It is not how much you eat that matters, what counts is how much you digest.
Knowledge is potential power, wisdom is real power. Education takes many forms; it is not just grades and a degree. It is:
- Cultivating your strength
- Learning self-discipline
- Desiring to learn
Our minds, like muscles, stretch or shrink depending on how much or how little we exercise them. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Continuous positive education leads to positive thinking.
Education is a reservoir – Positive thinkers are like athletes who, through practice, build an inner reservoir of stamina that they draw on in competition. If they don’t practice, they have nothing to draw on. Similarly, positive thinkers regularly build a reserve of positive attitude by constantly feeding their mind on the pure, the powerful, and the positive on a daily basis. They realize that we are all going to be faced with the negative and if we have the reserve of positive attitude we will be able to overcome; otherwise the negative will prevail.
Positive thinkers are not fools and they are not going through life with blinders. They are winners who recognize their limitations, but focus on their strengths. Losers, on the other hand, recognize their strengths but focus on their weaknesses.
Step 5: Build a positive self-esteem
What is self-esteem? – Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. When we feel good within, our performance goes up, our relationships improve both at home and at work. The world looks nicer. What is the reason? There is a direct correlation between feeling and behavior.
How do we build self-esteem? – If you want to build positive self-esteem quickly, one of the fastest ways is to do something for others who cannot repay you in cash or kind. Always make this world a better place to live. Some people forget that we don’t live in isolation. What you do affects me and what I do affect you. We are connected. We have to realize that we are sharing this planet and we must learn to behave responsibly.
There are two kinds of people in this world – takers and givers. Takers eat well and givers sleep well. Givers have high self-esteem, a positive attitude, and they serve society. As human beings, we all have the need to receive and take. But a healthy personality with high self-esteem is one that not only has its need to take but also to give.
A man was washing his new car when his neighbor asked him, “When did you get the car?” He replied, “My brother gave it to me”. The neighbor’s response was, “I wish I had a car like that”. The man replied, “You should wish to have a brother like that”. The neighbor’s wife was listening to the conversation and she interrupted, “I wish I was a brother like that”. What a way to go!
Step 6: Stay away from a negative influences
Today’s teenagers learn from adult behavior and the media. They face peer pressure. Peer pressure not just limited to teenagers, it is also prevalent in adults. It shows a lack of self-esteem when people do not have the courage to say, “No, thank you,” and stay away from negative influences. What are the negative influences?
Negative people – An eagle’s egg was place in the nest of a prairie chicken. The egg hatched and the little eagle grew up thinking it was a prairie chicken. The eagle did what the prairie chicken did. It scratched in the dirt for seeds. It clucked and cackled. It never flew more than a few feet because that is what the prairie chickens did. One day he saw an eagle flying gracefully and majestically in the open sky. He asked the prairie chickens: “What is the beautiful bird?” The chicken replied, “That is an eagle. He is an outstanding bird, but you cannot fly like him because you are just a prairie chicken”. So the eagle never gave it a second thought, believing that to be the truth. He lived the life of and died a prairie chicken, depriving himself of his heritage because of his lack of vision. What a waste! He was born to win, but was conditioned to lose.
The same thing is true of most people. The unfortunate part of life is as Oliver Wendall Holmes said, “Most people go to their graves, with music still in them”. We don’t achieve excellence because of our own lack of vision.
If you want to soar like an eagle, you have to learn the way of an eagle. If you associate with achievers, you will become one. If you associate with thinkers, you will become one. If you associate with givers, you will become one. If you associate with complainers, you will become one too.
Whatever people succeed in life, petty people will take cracks at them and try to pull them down. When you refuse to fight petty people, you win. In martial arts, they teach that when someone takes a crack at you, instead of blocking you should step away. Why? Even to block you require energy. Why not use it more productively? Similarly, in order to fight petty people, you have to come down to their level. This is what they want, because now you are one of them.
Don’t let negative people drag you down. Remember, a person’s character is not only judged by the company he or she keeps but also by the company he or she avoids.
Smoking, drugs, and alcohol – “One reason that I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time. Drinking makes a person lose his inhibitions and give exhibitions.
Drinking and smoking are glamorized today. It all starts with the first time. If you ask people why they consume alcohol and take drugs, they will give you a host of reasons, such as: to celebrate; to have fund; to forget problems; to relax; to experiment; to impress (it is cool to drink); to be fashionable; to mingle; for business purposes.
People want to conform to peer pressure. I am amazes at the way peer pressure compels with phrases such as: “Aren’t you my friend?”; “One for the road”; “One for my health.” The following poem from an unknown author explains the dilemma of a social drinker well.
I’ve drunk to your, Health in taverns, I’ve drunk to your, Health in my home, I’ve drunk to your, Health so dam many times, That I’ve almost ruined my own.
Pornography – Pornography is nothing short of dehumanizing women and children. The consequences of pornography are that it:
- Dehumanizes women
- Victimizes children
- Destroys marriages
- Encourage sexual violence
- Make fun of ethical and moral values
- Destroy individuals, families, and communities
It sad to see how low some people will stoop to make a buck by making pornography their business. What about the sick people who buy it?
Negative movies and television programs – Today’s kid are learning their attitudes and value more from television and movies than from anywhere else. It is estimated that in United States, by the time a youngster gets out of high school, he was watched more than 20,000 hours of television, witnessed 15,000 murders, and watched 100,000 alcohol-related commercials.* They convey the message that drinking is fun, smoking is glamorous, and drugs are the “in” thing. No wonder the crime rate is so high.
Soap operas glamorize premarital and extramarital sex. No wonder commitments are lacking in relationships and divorce rate are high. Impressionable viewers set their standards and benchmarks based on what they see and hear in the media. And no matter whom it is, we are all impressionable to varying degrees.
Profanity – Using profanities show a lack of self-control and discipline.
Rock music – The lyrics of some hit songs are obscene. We can be subconsciously influenced by the music we hear and the performance we watch.
Step 7: Learn to like the things that need to be done
Some things need to be done whether we like them or not; for example, mothers caring for their young. They may not be fun and games, and may even be painful. But if we learn to like the task, the impossible becomes possible.
Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
St. Francis of Assisi
Step 8: Start your day with a positive
Read or listen to something positive first thing in the morning. After a good night’s sleep we are relaxed and our subconscious is receptive. It sets the tone for the day, and puts us in the right frame of mind to make every day a positive day. In order to bring about change, we need to make a conscious effort and be committed to make positive thoughts and behavior part of our lives. Practice having positive thoughts and behavior daily until they become a habit.
William James of Harvard University said, “If you are going to change your life, you need to start immediately and do it flamboyantly.”
winners versus losers
- The winner is part of the answer; the loser is always part of the problem.
- The winner always has a program; the loser always has an excuse.
- The winner says, “Let me do it for you”, the loser says, “That is not my job”.
- The winner sees an answer for every problem; the loser sees a problem for every answer.
- The winner says, “It may be difficult but it is possible”, the loser says, “It may be possible but it is too difficult”.
- When a winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong”, when a loser makes a mistake, he says, “It was not my fault”.
- A winner makes commitments, a loser makes promises.
- Winners have dream, losers have schemes.
- Winners say, “I must do something”, loser say, “Something must be done”.
- Winners are a part of the team; losers are apart from the team.
- Winners see the gain, loser sees the pain.
- Winners see possibilities, losers see problem.
- Winners believe in win/win, losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
- Winners see the potential, losers see the past.
- Winners are like a thermostat, losers are like thermometers.
- Winners choose what they say, loser say what they choose.
- Winners use hard arguments but soft words, losers use soft arguments but hard words.
- Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things, losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.
- Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: “Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you”, losers follow the philosophy, “Do it to others before they do it to you”.
- Winners make it happen, losers let it happen.
Winners plan and prepare to win. The key word is preparation.What you keyword is.
A Little Black Pen