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(c) 2010 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

The world has been watching as a Carnival Cruise ship has had a challenging week.  Meant to cruise the Mexican Riviera for a few days, the Splendor had problems off the west coast of Mexico.  An engine room fire gave passengers concern, as they smelled smoke and heard an announcement to move to open decks.  Power lost, there followed several days of a different experience than passengers had planned.  People’s reactions to the situation revealed each person’s stress style.

The ship was towed to San Diego, and the passengers have now debarked, or as some said, “escaped”.  Over 4000 people were stranded together, with very limited lighting, plumbing, and amenities.  A bad odor developed shipwide.  Food was limited to cold food, much delivered by Navy helicopters.  Instead of elegant menus, people had Pop Tarts® and lettuce-and-butter sandwiches.  Carnival Cruise Lines not only covered ground expenses for the passengers, they refunded the cruise fare and offered each a complete free cruise for future.

While everyone had the same situation, there were 2 main kinds of comments from the debarking passengers: either “that was Hell”, or “they did the best they could”.  It was the same ship, same odor, same lack of flush capability for 14 hours, same lack of room lights and same absence of hot food or entertainment.  One group is horrified, feels they suffered, and will never cruise again.  The other group is philosophical, thinks it was an “adventure”, and plans to use their free cruise tickets in upcoming months.  With the same conditions, they had two different “experiences”.  Would you like to bet that the philosophical ones will be laughing about this week at future cocktail parties, recounting details in a way that makes their friends laugh?

It’s not what your cruise ship, or your boss, or the economy, or your neighbor is doing, it’s how you react to it.  Why not choose the reaction that will make your life the most pleasant?  Go ahead, set yourself up for laughing a lot at future parties!  After all, it’s your life.

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