There’s a lot to fret about in our world today. The economy and the environment are almost always big concerns. In addition to rerunning these topics in our heads, most of us can find plenty of other challenges to occupy our minds, such as: “Are our kids going to turn out alright?” “What’s going to happen with my aging parents?” “I wonder if my wife is mad at me.” “Will we have enough money to pay the rent?” “Will I get into the college I want?” “Is there really a chance for another war?” “Darn, our property taxes went up again.” “Why can’t the city just fix the big potholes in our street?” “How in the world am I going to get along with my new boss?” “Oh man, the car won’t start. How am I going to get to work?” “Is this relationship going to work out or not? “Why aren’t they here yet? The roads aren’t that slippery.” “Do you think dad will lose his job at the factory?” These and other disconcerting events are part of everyday life. Sometimes, the outlook can be rather dim because lots of problems are pretty big and we can’t always come up with an answer to them. Steppenwolf put it this way, “Things look bad from over here. Too much confusion and no solution”…Move Over. It’s true enough that there are plenty of troubles. But, oh well, that’s life. “Whatever will be, will be”…Eddie Money, Baby Hold On.
There has always been plenty of bad news and things to worry us and there always will be. I realize this and I can get discouraged just like anybody else, but not for long because the older I get the faster I can snap out of the funk I’m in. I do this by thinking of the good things in my life, and there are plenty so it’s easy to do. I also, often, take a few minutes to imagine all the bad things that didn’t happen to me today, like getting in a car wreck or losing a filling or losing my wallet. It’s all about attitude or perspective, don’t you think? I do, so to combat bad news I try to appreciate things like my next breath, or the really tight hugs around my neck that my grandson Everett gives me. Success in life has a lot to do with one’s mindset and a good one will help you smile more. Look for good news and absorb it, linger there a moment or two before moving on in your mind. Something as simple as a new fresh day ought to make you happy.“It’s a beautiful mornin’, Ahhh, I think I’ll go outside a while, an jus’ smile”…The Rascals, A Beautiful Morning. Every day is a good day for smiling. My cousin Mike, now retired, certainly knows this. He was born blind but his attitude and disposition never reveal the challenge he has faced every day of his life. He’s all smiles anyway because he knows that everyone he meets deserves to be greeted with a smile. Are you with me so far?
I like the seasons so I don’t think there any such thing as bad weather. In my opinion, there are just different types of good weather. Certainly, though, lots of people don’t see it this way so even the weather can cause them to stop smiling. Sometimes, people just won’t show their teeth if, “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey”…California Dreamin’. Maybe The Mamas & The Papas wrote this song while in Seattle. Anyway, SAD, Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, is a real thing, usually caused by prolonged exposure to gray northern weather. In 2005, Dr. Cliff Arnall, discovered that weather and other factors impact peoples’ dispositions. He is a psychologist at the University of Cardiff who specializes in seasonal disorders and he created a formula that takes into account numerous feelings to devise peoples’ lowest point. January 24, according to his research, is when people are the most despondent. It’s the most depressing day of the year. The weather can be cold and the skies gray and gloomy then. People have eaten all the holiday leftovers and already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. Credit card bills from Christmas are due. To some, I guess, there’s not motivation to do much. This shouldn’t be the case, unless you’re on vacation or just wasting away in Margaritaville. Nothing wrong with that, but otherwise, cheer up. Some morning if you wake up and don’t feel like smiling, take this advice from Fleetwood Mac, “Open your eyes and look at the day, you’ll see things in a different way”…Don’t Stop. Today is a good day to smile. Tomorrow is a good day to smile. Every day is a good day to smile, even January 24, so keep smiling. I’ve taken this approach in spite of Cat Steven’s observation, “Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world. It’s hard to get by just upon a smile”…Wild World.
Evidently Cat Stevens couldn’t get by on a smile but Davy Crockett could, most of the time. In the 1955 Walt Disney movie, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, he tried to grin down a bear. It didn’t work but here’s what he said, “You see, there’s nothing so absolutely irresistible as an old-fashioned grin.” Wow, those are some good words that still apply. So, since lots of smiles are started by other smiles, keep them coming, just as Carole King observed, “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart”…Beautiful.
Let people see the love in your heart because life is awesome. Don’t get caught up in the gravitational pull of bad news. Smile because it makes a world of difference.