The longer one lives, the more one realizes the impact of at titude on life. Attitude is more important than facts, more important than circumstances, failures or successes, and cer tainly more important than what other people think or say. It's more important than appearance, talent or skill. Attitude can make or break a man, a home, a family, or an organization. It can shatter dreams, ideas, relationships, and children's futures

Every day, each one of us has a choice regarding not only the clothes we wear, but the attitude we present for that day. It's the last thing we put on as we leave our home. People should all have a mirror by the door, just to make sure their attitude is on straight.

We cannot change, as God cannot change, the past, nor can we guarantee that those we smile or say "Good Morning" to will be pleasant or even civil, since anger has a way of inserting its sharp words into pleasant as well as strained conversations.

The time we spend interacting with people may vary from a few seconds to hours, and happens under all circumstances, such as walking down the street, or school hallway.

We may think that a head nod, or a brief "Hello" is insignifi- cant, but think again. As a clown, I have come to realize that those few moments, are what children, or people remember.

Two weeks ago, another clown and myself were at a Friendly's restaurant in Concord. We had just finished a parade, and were still in costume. We were tired, hot, and hungry. Since it was during that heat wave, many parents were there with their children, and you know how clowns react with children. So we made balloons and passed them from table to table until all the kids had at least one. Just as our food arrived, a small boy, around nine years old, came from somewhere and tugged at my sleeve and said "When I grow up, I want to be just like you." We never did get to eat.

What I'm trying to say is that whether you interact with people in three minutes or three hours, you leave behind you a feeling (attitude) of caring or non-caring, of sensitivity or insensi- tivity, and as one clown said "You walk away leaving a legend or a Nightmare."

Each one of us should realize that as we walk away, we leave something behind. What that is depends on us.

- al