Not long ago my husband was sharing with me his memories of Chicago hotdogs. He has fond memories of the street vendors from the eight years he lived there. My taste buds came alive as he described the delicacy of kosher wieners, mustard, hot peppers, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and lots of piccalilli. He explained that piccalilli is a delectable spicy relish made with chopped vegetables adding just the right touch to an average hot dog to making it a mouth-watering treat.
In the days that have followed the hot dog reminiscing, I’ve had some time to read, a favorite thing with me. My latest interest is a collection of short stories by Zig Zigler entitled, “Something Else to Smile About”. Mr. Zigler has added a touch of piccalilli just like a spicy relish in people’s lives for years. He writes to remind us that in everyday circumstances of living and even in the hardships of life, life is good. Circumstances challenge us to keep our minds in a positive mode. As my treasured book states, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
This statement brings into focus our “thought life”. There is much printed literature on how our thoughts affect, direct and control everything about us. From the time we are born we are programmed by what we hear, some good, some bad. We have received much negative input from the world around us, most times telling us we can’t achieve, we can’t become, we will never be, we are too old. These thoughts are indelibly etched in our minds and form what we believe about ourselves and most of what is going on around us. Unfortunately we become the living result of our thought life.
Best sellers today tell us it is not only correct, but scientifically correct to agree with Proverbs 23:11. Dr. Shad Helmstetter addresses the subject of this bible passage and our thought life in his book, WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU TALK TO YOURSELF.
“I was quite young when I first heard the Biblical passage which reads, “As a man
thinketh, so is he.” I recall shaking my head, thinking that could not be. How
could we possibly be what we think? After all, isn’t our physical self one thing
and our private thought another? Little did I (or most of us then) understand
that the Biblical passage had hit the nail of truth squarely on the head. It would be
years later, however, after much research, and following the discoveries through
which modern-day neuroscientists had begun to unlock the secrets of the human
mind, that I would come to know just how correct-how scientifically correct
that Biblical passage had been.”
“ In the last two decades we have learned more about the workings of the human
brain than was known throughout all history prior to that time. We now know
that by an incredibly complex physiological mechanism, a joint effort of body,
brain, and “mind,” we become the living result of our own thoughts. Through
scientific discovery we have proved the relationship between our own “mental”
programming” and the matter of whether we will succeed or fail in any endeavor
we undertake in life, from something as important as a lifetime goal to something
as small as what we do in a single day.”
With Dr. Helmsetter’s quote in mind, consider the word ‘pessimist’. It’s interesting to note that the word was not in early printings of Noah Webster’s dictionary. It’s a relatively modern invention! Have we allowed our thoughts to become contaminated by the world around us? If we take control of our thought life and choose an optimist approach to life, we benefit physically and mentally. I love the verse, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”(Proverbs 17:22) A merry heart starts in our thought life. You can not be depressed when thinking happy thoughts. Neither can you be happy when thinking depressing thoughts. As we carry a merry heart within us, we can give a little piccalilli here and little there to reach out and flavor others with positive words of encouragement, love and compassion.
Right now I would love a Chicago hot dog and while I am indulging, I think I’ll make a list of people I know that have needs. Maybe I am the person to make their life a little spicier today. Tomorrow I might be that person in need.