Autism Treatment Center of America®

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Happiness Is A Choice

Chapter II Continued

A sixteen-year-old boy fell off a roof during a summer camp experience. Although he had not been seriously injured by the fall, he developed a strong aversion to ledges and high places. In fact, he even refused to enter the protected balcony of his grandfather's apartment. He avoided bicycle riding for fear of failing. When his parents pressed him to get help, he told them he needed time to conquer his problem and asked not to be pushed to do what he could not do.

One day, on his way home from school through a wooded lot, he heard the screams of two children. When he looked up, he saw them dangling precariously from the top walkway of a huge water tower. He considered going for help but realized they might fall before he returned. He thought for a moment more, then decided God had placed him in that exact spot for a reason and he could trust the reason. His fears evaporated. Without further hesitation, he ran to the ladder affixed to the side of the tower, climbed up over two stories and brought the children down safely.

We can scare ourselves or inspire ourselves. We can make the word "love" mean pain or use it as a celebration of caring. We can see people as objects of scorn or as human beings, though perhaps imperfect and capable of unhappy acts. We can generalize and cast clouds over all future experiences or invoke God to help us break through personal barriers. We are in charge. We are the architects of our own attitudes and experiences. We design the world by the way we choose to see it!

Chapter 2 Continued