February 18, 2016

What is it about a “smile” that makes people curious?  When my youngest son was in elementary school, he smiled most of the time.  Smiling as he rode the bus, getting off the bus, walking the halls, talking to friends, but when the teachers saw him sitting in the classroom with a big ole smile on his face, they were uncomfortable.  To the point, they would ask, “Zico, what are you smiling about?”  Then he would laugh and say “nothing”.  Sadly the teacher did not like his response and felt he was hiding something, so consequently Zico would be moved to a different seat!

I am reminded of the time he hit a homerun and as he ran around the bases, he tried so hard NOT to smile, ( I guess, it was the cool thing) but I could see him struggling to refrain himself from smiling…cracked me up.  Society was teaching him to hide a smile and look cool??? Really?  I’m glad his soul was stronger.

When I arrived in prison, I was amazed to see ladies smiling and laughing.  It actually made me crazy.  “How can they be smiling? Don’t they know where they are?”  Because I was in a difficult place, a sad place, I felt a smile to be unwarranted.

Over time, I decided to try on a smile, choosing to become happy and content regardless of the circumstance.  It took a desire to find happiness and practice it. I found myself enjoying silly things, sitting outside and pretending I was at the beach with my gray shorts, that were just about my knees.  We had to keep our shoes and socks on, which led me to admiring my farmers tan at the end of the day.   Looking for the humor was part of the fun.

Colds and coughs are not the only things that are contagious, but smiles are as well.  One evening in prison, we had a “game night” and decided to smile at everyone that walked into the room.  Then we walked around the room and said “hello” and purposefully smiled at them.  Our smiles turned into laughs and became contagious, as the other inmates looked at us like we were losing it or on drugs, but started to copy us and by the time everyone was in the room we were totally insane with laughter.

Remember when you were a kid and would sit with your best friend and try to laugh as hard as you could?  Then both of you would be laughing and laughing?  (I look like a nut sitting by myself, hysterically laughing at myself right now).  I don’t care, my world is fun…..

Everyday life gets shorter, so why not relax and stop being so serious and critical and laugh alittle…it won’t kill you!  You will be a magnet to others, people will want what you have.  Whether you are democrat, republican, rich or poor, nobody can prevent you from laughing, only you.

Today, I proclaim laughter, even if you hate you job, your life, your fat belly or your tiny paycheck.  Create a memory, today.  Walk around your home or office for just one full minute smiling, and I bet you will start laughing. Grab a co-worker and experiment, take a break and walk around together with super-size smiles and see what happens.  Let me know!

Little kids have the happy minds, what happened to us?

Smiling again, Holly


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