There were two twin boys: one that was always optimistic, no matter the bad situations that he would sometimes find himself in; and the other, that was always pessimistic, even when good things happening around him. One day, his parents decided to get to the bottom of their behavior.
They wondered if an extreme environment of either good or bad could change the boys attitudes. So they took their pessimistic son and placed him in a room with all the best toys a child his age could want. There were electronic toys, video games, bicycles, puzzles, and many other things. Then they took their optimistic son and placed him in a room filled with horse manure. It was a terrible room, and its’ stench filled their nostrils as they placed their son inside. They closed both doors to the rooms, both of which had small windows to view what was going on in the rooms.
Some time went by, and the boys parents decided it was time to check on their boys. They decided to check on their pessimistic son first. They walked over to his room, peered through the small window on the door, and were shocked at what they saw: their son wasn’t joyfully playing with all his wonderful toys; instead, he was bundled up in the corner, crying. They burst through the door and asked, “Son, why are you so sad?”
The boy replied, “Well, I have all these toys to play with but no one to play with me. I’ve tried to solve some of the puzzles, but they were too hard; the video games I played were too loud; and I fell off one of the bicycles. I don’t like this room, and all these toys. I wish I had a better room full of toys.”
The boys parents were surprised that even a room full of awesome toys couldn’t change their pessimistic son’s attitude.
“Well,” they thought, “maybe we should go check on our other son?” They walked over to the other room filled with horse manure, and looked through the small window. Again, they were shocked by what they saw: their son was happily scooping up the horse manure and digging through it, as if it was the best thing he’d ever played with! His parents both looked at each other, astonished that their son could be this enthusiastic about a room full with horse manure.
They burst through the door and asked, “Son, why are you so excited?”
The boy responded, “Well, mom and dad, where there’s this much horse manure, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”
Moral: Our attitude shouldn’t depend on our circumstances. Even in difficult circumstances, there’s always a silver lining – or a pony in there somewhere!