The story of Murphy's plough & positive thinking
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
McGinty, a farmer, needed to plough his field before the dry spell set in, but his own plough had broken.
"I know, I'll ask my neighbour, farmer Murphy, to borrow his plough. He's a good man; I'm sure he'll have done his ploughing by now and he'll be glad to lend me his machine."
So McGinty began to walk the three or four fields to Murphy's farm.
After a field of walking, McGinty says to himself, "I hope that Murphy has finished all his own ploughing or he'll not be able to lend me his machine..."
Then after a few more minutes of worrying and walking, McGinty says to himself, "And what if Murphy's plough is old and on it's last legs - he'll never be wanting to lend it to me will he?.."
And after another field, McGinty says, "Murphy was never a very helpful fellow, I reckon maybe he won't be too keen to lend me his plough even if it's in perfect working order and he's finished all his own ploughing weeks ago...."
As McGinty arrives at Murphy's farm, McGinty is thinking, "That old Murphy can be a mean old fellow. I reckon even if he's got all his ploughing done, and his own machine is sitting there doing nothing, he'll not lend it to me just so watch me go to ruin..."
McGinty walks up Murphy's front path, knocks on the door, and Murphy answers.
"Well good morning Mr McGinty, what can I do for you?" says Murphy.
And McGinty says, with eyes bulging, "You can take your bloody plough, and you can stick it up your bloody arse!"
This story illustrates the risks of failing to use positive thinking and the risks of forming negative views and assumptions. If you imagine the worst in people and treat them accordingly, then be prepared to be proven correct. Conversely, and better, expect good things of people, treat them with tolerance and understanding, and they will usually be good and positive in response.