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Are you a builder or a wrecker?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Lee K. Ishikawa
  • 35th Mission Support Group Superintendent
All of us work (or live) around people who make a difference in our lives. Some of the differences are positive, while some are not so favorable. We probably interacted with people who we called "negative or positive" based on their outlook on a situation.

Here is my question, "What about you?" Have you ever been that "negative" person who sees things as gloom and doom? Are you the person who lives in Misawa and only looked at the negatives and bypassed the positive things we have to offer? On the other hand, are you the person who sees all of the awesome and amazing people here trying to make a positive difference? Do you look at the old buildings and can only see the endless positive impacts and inputs you can make to help design and shape the future of Misawa?

Do you know what the biggest difference between “you” having a negative (or positive) attitude and others who share in your attitude? You choose to have the positive (or negative) attitude. Other people cannot change the minds and attitude of a particular individual. People can give perspectives and different viewpoints, but in the end, only the individual can make that change and decide to be positive or negative.

Should we care what outlook we have on a situation? The fact of the matter is, is it really up to you? I know this may sound different from what others have said, but as I stated, others cannot change your minds and beliefs. I know what I believe to be true in my heart...but it’s my heart and it’s my belief.

So, what are you? Are you a positive difference maker or a negative difference maker? Are you one who hears a rumor and adds to it or are you the one who squelches it? Are you the one who sees someone struggling and piles on to the issue, or the one who offers a hand to help? Are you the one who takes the time to be a positive role model or the one who ignores others based on your biases and selfishness? Will you be someone who builds up a person or the one who tears them down?

A few years ago, I heard a poem that really stuck with me. It talks about the types of people we deal with on a daily basis. We all have been around the person who want to tear down an idea or even a person, because they do not really care what it took to get to that point. They are the naysayers and the negative folks. Then, we have those who are positive and believe in others and new ideas. In the end, regardless on which one you are or which one you want to be, you are the one who decides your fate. You are the one who decides how you will live life.

A poem by Edgar Guest: “Am I a builder or a wrecker?”

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled, The men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I thought to myself as I went my way, Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan, Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?