KEYWORDS: people, doughnut, meeting, accentuate, seats

Accentuate the Positive

David Berg

DO 2136 7/84

1. I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT MEETING WE HAD WHEN I WAS LEADING THE MEETING & MOTHER WAS PREACHING FOR L. P. LEHMAN in a little small coal town in Western Pennsylvania. It was a small church on a cold rainy night with a very small poor crowd of about a dozen people. I kept saying, "I'm sorry there aren't more folks here, I don't know where the rest of the people are."

2. I WAS DWELLING ON THE NEGATIVE & THE EMPTY SEATS INSTEAD OF COMPLIMENTING THEM FOR BEING SO BRAVE TO COME OUT on a night like that & telling them, "You're wonderful people that you have been the ones to come & you have braved the weather!"—Speaking on the positive & encouraging them & inspiring them & complimenting them instead of dragging everybody down by pointing out all the empty seats & talking about all the folks that didn't come & how come & blah blah! It's really bad! It has a negative effect on people in general.

3. IT'S ALWAYS BETTER TO ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE & TRY TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THE NEGATIVE! I got a real dressing down from L. P. Lehman, who was a good business manager and smart promoter, even a good preacher.—But mostly good on business & good promotion, a good advertiser, good publiciser. He had the biggest radio work in all of Pennsylvania!

4. HE TOOK ME ASIDE RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER & TOLD ME THESE THINGS! He said‚ "David‚ you shouldn't have talked about all the people that weren't there & why they didn't come & kept complaining about the empty seats. You should have been congratulating the people who did come, thanking God for them, inspiring them, encouraging them, thanking them for coming in such bad weather & how wonderful it was that so many people came out in such bad weather instead of talking about so many people who didn't come! Dwell on the positive, accentuate the positive‚ the encouraging & the inspiring, trying to lift up, & don't keep talking about the negative & the bad side. Look on the bright side!"

5. IT'S THE OLD STORY ABOUT HOW THE OPTIMIST SEES THE DOUGHNUT, THE PESSIMIST SEES THE HOLE! The optimist raves about the quality of the doughnut & how delicious it is & how wonderful to have a doughnut, & the pessimist complains about, "How come they cheated us by putting a hole in it? Where's the rest of my doughnut?"—It's the same thing people do with God. Instead of thanking God for all of His blessings, they complain about a few little trials and tribulations and suffering, murmuring. So I just don't believe in accentuating the negative.

6. LEHMAN SAID IF YOU DON'T CALL ATTENTION TO SOME MISTAKES IN YOUR PROGRAM‚ MOST PEOPLE WON'T EVEN NOTICE THEM! A poor meeting is better than no meeting at all! A poor picture is better than no picture at all! A poor witness is better than no witness! So let's not try to even call attention to the negative, let's ignore it! Try to bring out the positive & accentuate the positive!—Amen!—GBY! ILY!—D.