Sometimes, I get in a funk. We all do, from time-to-time. At times like that, I certainly don’t have positive thoughts going through my head! I realize, however, that I’m leading a charmed life, especially in comparison to some of our fellow humans in places like Syria, Yemen, or any of the many other trouble spots in our world.

Last night, I met a woman who escaped from North Korea. Her father was killed for the food he was trying to bring to his family and her mother died from cancer because there was no medical care available. She and her sister faced the choice of staying in North Korea and dying of starvation or trying to escape and possibly getting killed in the process. They made three attempts to escape, finally succeeding on the last one. Her sister fell into the grip of human traffickers in China and was forced into marriage. They had no contact with each other for nine years until they were finally able to reconnect. Today, she and her sister are citizens of South Korea and she is here in the United States as a student. She is a very positive, upbeat, kind, and happy person who’s a delight to be around.

Sometimes, when I get self-absorbed and start to feel sorry for myself, I try to remember how fortunate I am. I live in a place where I’m relatively free to travel, go to school, and pursue my dreams. I don’t need to worry about food or medical care. My children and grandchildren can do the same. As crazy as I think some of our government leaders are, they’re certainly not self-appointed dictators, nor successors to a throne.

I want to acknowledge that some people who are reading this are dealing with serious struggles in their lives, perhaps related to health, finances, personal safety, or something else. This post is not meant to minimize the impact of such struggles on your life or on the important people in your life. It’s just that sometimes when you see how another person finds the strength to deal with their challenges, it can help you find the strength you need to deal with yours.

What does this have to do with customer service or information systems and technology? When your boss or customers are making you crazy or when your systems aren’t behaving the way you want, try thinking positive thoughts. Just think about my new friend from North Korea. What would she have to say about our situation?

How am I today? Oh, I’m fabulous, thank you. How are you?

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