The other day, I found myself shuffling along Faneuil Hall in Boston, side-stepping the crowd that converged around a clown providing a comedy routine.
I was feeling rather low this day. Maybe the bumper-to-bumper traffic had something to do with my disposition but it certainly could have been better than what I was showing.
In fact, it was more of a frown than a happy face.
“Did you drop something?” a voice gushed out of the clear blue.
I looked around to see who it belonged to and it happened to be the clown. I didn’t know where to turn and instinctively glanced at the pavement below.
The clown looked at me and said, “You dropped your smile.”
I may have ignored him but since others were watching, I decided to play his game. I reached to the ground and picked up a handful of air, putting it smack dab on my face.
In place for the grimace appeared that all-elusive smile. To tell you the truth, it took a clown’s quip to change my mood and set me on my merry way.
Not enough people, myself included, are not smiling these days. I walk into my coffee shop and the clerk has an attitude, based on quirky customers who shell out their myriad coffee orders.
The line at my pharmacy is backed up with disgruntled customers because one clerk is at the window with six others filling prescriptions. So, you stand, wait and grumble silently.
A visit to the supermarket is no better. Whichever line you choose winds up being the slowest. Why does the shopper in front of me always disburse the most coupons, then pays by check which needs a certified visit from the manager?
We’re living in a serious world where laughter and levity are foregone conclusions these days. Switch on the evening news and it’s a meltdown out there. Nothing to smile about anymore, not even with the weather report. Meteorologists always seem to make their reports worse than they actually appear, especially when predicting a snowfall.
“Get ready for a nor’easter, folks,” they tell you, when actually it winds up being a couple inches, no more. That may be reason to smile but by this time, you’ve already been traumatized by Mother Nature.
I disdain the thought of hanging around people who are eternal pessimists. Nothing goes right for them, even when it does. They criticize everything from the restaurants they visit to the shows they’ve seen. They live in an environment marked by chaos and confusion because they’ve brought misery upon themselves.
If your power goes kaput and you’re in the dark, don’t pout. Light a few candles—the scented kind—turn some music on a battery-powered radio, pour yourself a glass of wine, and pick up a good book. So, take out a flashlight and make the best of it.
Should you have arthritis in your right foot, count your blessings and join the crowd. At least your left foot is fine. You walk with a cane?
What about the guy who’s in a wheelchair?
You have an ingrown toenail, be grateful you are not an amputee.
Bills! Bills! More bills! Organize some sort of budget, stay ahead of the game, and try not to fall into debt.
“When skies are gray and you say you are blue; I’ll send the sun smiling through. I’ll make you happy, too. Life is worth living when we are worth giving. Why can’t I give some sunshine to you?”
These are lyrics to a Broadway show called “I want to be Happy” from “No, No, Nanette” which are hummable and happy. Hearing it is bound to have a positive effect.
So, here’s the deal, folks. If a yawn can take on a contagious effect, perhaps the same is true of a smile. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people smile, perhaps it will cause a ripple effect. Not only that, but curious people will be wondering what there is to be smiling about and you can tell them this.
“You’re not fully dressed without a smile.” You probably heard that from the musical “Annie.”
Go ahead and whistle a happy tune. I dropped my smile that day in Boston and a clown reminded me to pick it off the ground. My disposition changed in a nanosecond and I suddenly wore a happy face.
When people wish me a happy day, I accept their greeting with pleasure. But really, why are they limiting me to 24 hours of happiness?
Trite as this may seem, if you’re wondering what the longest word is in Webster’s Dictionary, try “smiles.” It goes further than any other word because… there’s a mile between the first and last letter.