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"The Two Young Couples" An English Story in Short

"The Two Young Couples" An English Story in Short

I read about a young couple in college, studying to get their degrees. They lived in an apartment complex next door to another young college couple, so the two couples soon became good friends. They had a lot in common.

The second couple, however, seemed to get all the breaks. They lived in the corner apartment, and it was much bigger and nicer than the other units in that complex were. They furnished their apartment with brand-new furniture. The other couple barely had any furniture, and the pieces they did have were old hand-me-downs. The one couple wore nice clothes, the latest fashions, while the other couple wore the same clothes again and again. At one point, both of the men were trying to get an assistant teaching job at the university. Once again, the second man got it.

The first young man was extremely frustrated that he couldn’t seem to get any breaks. To top things off, at Christmastime, the second couple received a brand-new fancy sports car from their parents. The first couple drove an old beat-up pickup truck. It didn’t have any air-conditioning, and they lived in a hot and humid part of the country. Many times they’d be driving to class in the morning, sweating and miserable, and they’d look over to see their friends in that brand-new sports car.

As this sort of thing continued, the young man got more negative and more depressed. He started complaining about their circumstances, and before long he was at odds with his wife. They started arguing and fighting. Ironically, they had never before had problems in their relationship, but negative attitudes will quickly spread to every area of our lives and drag us down.

One day, this young man was in his statistics class on campus. He’d spent several hours entering an enormous amount of data into his computer. He was working on this long, complicated equation. He had to get the numbers all lined up. He got them in the right order in the right column, and then he hit the “enter” key on his computer, asking it to give him the answer. As he did, he sat back and folded his arms. He thought it would take ten to fifteen minutes for the computer to analyze and calculate all that information. But much to his surprise he looked up to find that the computer was already finished. He couldn’t believe it. He thought, That is amazing! It took me hours to put this in, and the computer gave me the answer in less than one-tenth of a second. About that time, the professor came by and noticed that the student looked perplexed and befuddled.

“What’s wrong?” the professor asked.

“Well, sir, nothing’s wrong. I just spent all this time putting data in the computer, and I don’t really see how it could calculate it that rapidly.”

The professor smiled and said, “Let me explain.” He told the student how the computer takes every bit of data, and it gives it either a positive electrical impulse or a negative electrical impulse, and then stores it away. Then the computer simply recalls the information and combines it in the right order. It does it so quickly because the information has already been categorized.

Then the professor said something that really got the young man’s attention. He said, “The computer works much like the human brain. Before anything ever goes into our mental computer, before any sight, sound, taste, feel, or intuition gets stored in the brain, it’s first stamped either positive or negative. That sensation is permanently stored in our memory. That’s why sometimes you can’t remember a person’s name, but you can remember how you felt about that person.” The professor went on to say, “But unlike a computer, every person develops a habit of mainly programming their mind positive or negative.”

The professor’s words turned on a light in that young man’s mind. He realized he had gotten in the habit of making himself miserable. Without even knowing it, he had been stamping everything in his life as a “negative.” When he saw his friends next door, all he could see was what they had and he didn’t. “They’ve got a bigger apartment…negative. They’ve got a better car…negative. They get all the breaks…negative.” He realized that the reason he wasn’t enjoying his life was that he was categorizing everything he was putting into his mental computer as negative.

Unquestionably, what you put into your heart and mind is what you’re going to get out. Sure, you may have negative circumstances. Maybe you didn’t get good breaks. Maybe you didn’t get the position you were longing for. Now instead of automatically stamping it “negative” and storing it away, turn your attitude around. Remind yourself, “I know God has something better in store for me. I know when one door closes, God can open another door.” When you do that, you will take that negative situation, turn it around, and stamp it “positive.”

You can do this even in your most difficult times. Maybe you lost a loved one. I know that can be painful, but our attitude should be, “I know where they are. They’re in a better place, a place of joy, a place of peace.” When we do that, we’re stamping that experience as a “positive.”

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