If you’ve ever taken a physics or chemistry class, you have likely heard of the law of conservation of energy. This law says that energy remains invariable and is maintained over time, so while energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can be altered or transmitted.

While this law holds true for scientific purposes, it can also be applied to the attitudes of people, and we can see this play out in a variety of ways. This past Monday, my 10-year-old son, Landon, was a total grump in the morning. He was negative and snippy and sounded just like I do when I am tired or hungry or mildly inconvenienced. I realized that my reaction to his attitude was going to make his day either much worse or much better, but that it would also impact the rest of my day and how I felt about myself as well. When we got to our morning destination, before we exited the car, I asked him why he was so upset, and he simply said, “Because it’s Monday and everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.” I then asked out loud if he would like for me to drive us around to different businesses so that he will have the opportunity to share his negativity with complete strangers, and when they become flabbergasted at his behavior, he could shout, “This is OK because I’m having a bad day!”