<b>Attitude will take you far by Lauren Birnie</b><br><br>Audio version <a href="http://ripr.org/post/i-believe-attitude"target="_blank">www.ripr.org</a><br><br>I was ten years old and the hospital lights seemed dimmer than the day before. The air was damp and my chest felt heavy. My hands were clammy but my left hand was gripping my grandmother’s right hand. As I waited for the ICU doors to open, my heart began to palpitate. When those doors opened, my worst nightmare would unfold before my eyes. <br><br>Just days after I had received the news of a new baby sibling, I received the worst news of my life: that my mother was going to die because during the C-Section the doctor had nicked her colon. My mother’s doctors gave her a death sentence, which she accepted.<br><br>My whole world collapsed and I was plagued with questions. How could Dad do my hair in the morning before school, or make my sandwiches the way Mom did? Who would take me prom dress shopping? And how would I know how to deal with heartache? After days of questioning I made a plan. I wouldn’t give Mom a choice. The next time I saw her, I would tell her the same thing that she had always told me:. ‘Attitude will take you far.’<br><br>I heard this phrase ad nauseam throughout my childhood; usually I rolled my eyes. I complained about a social studies assignment and instantly heard this infamous line from my mother. I complained about the god awful soggy pizza at the cafeteria on Fridays, which triggered the annoying phrase. I couldn’t complain about anything without hearing this bit about attitude. As I marched up to my room to do homework I often wondered how my attitude would help fix any of these problems.<br><br>I went into that hospital room and told my mother that she didn’t have a choice, that she had to live. She explained all of the medical jargon to me, clarifying that she had less than a one percent chance of living . Through sobs and screams I yelled “Attitude will take you far, Mom. Change your attitude!” For months she endured painful surgeries and treatments. Then she returned home, alive and somewhat healthy. She was a walking and living miracle. To this day, she claims that one of the reasons she lived was because she changed her attitude. She went from hopeless and pessimistic to optimistic and buoyant.<br><br>The truth is, I’ll never know whether my Mom’s attitude change is entirely what saved her. But this I believe: There are some things in life you can’t change, and that is unfortunate. The good news is that you can change the way that you think about it. This is what my Mom taught me, and I use it every day.