"Attitude is everything," Tara Brockwell of Nashville, Tennessee, enjoys telling everyone who's willing to listen - like her coworker Alan York, whom she'd waylaid this particular Monday morning in the office kitchen while he was getting coffee. "Staying positive is a choice. Every morning, I wake up and decide to have a great day."
"Not that it's always easy," Tara emphasized to Alan. "But whatever happens, I just roll with it. You gotta just roll, you know?"
When Adam didn't respond, Tara pressed, "You know?"
Tara went on to explain to Alan - and to another coworker, Elizabeth, who had also come in to get some coffee - that at the end of the day, what matters is helping other people. "That's why I get out of bed in the morning," said Tara. "There are people who don't know where their next meal is coming from."
And that, right there, Tara elaborated, is the reason that she volunteers at a local homeless shelter at least once a month. "I want my 14-year-old son to see that I'm out there in the community, even if it means getting out of bed early on a weekend. We have to help each other. If we don't, what else have we got?"
Tara had clearly given her colleagues something to think about. They looked at her in silence, unable to craft an adequate response.
'Money?" Tara suggested rhetorically, with a scornful shake of her head. "I've never cared about money. I really don't think that's what it's all about. It's about compassion. There's so much darkness out there. We've got to stay positive."
When Adam nodded slightly, Tara grabbed his arm. "Right?" she said. "See, you get it."
After an expended moment of eye contact, Tara offered her colleagues a heartfelt smile. "I love being around positive people," she told them as they all began making their way back to their desks. "All we have is each other. You know?"