Wouldn’t you rather laugh?
I think we all run into people each day who have no smile on their face. Some people have a facial structure that is centered/constructed around a frown. Do you need me to cite a bunch of science to prove it to you that this is not healthy?
It was sometime in the 1980’s.
I was a junior high football quarterback. Our team had just won our first game, but, by only one touchdown. I was not happy and all celebratory like my colleagues. I was sulking. Why? Not because it was a narrow margin. It was because I really did not approve of my performance.
The fact is I was a bit short to be doing the quarterback gig in the first place, but I could remember the plays, so coach put me in front and center. Well, just behind the front guy, getting the football from under his but. Who made up that rule, by the way?
You see, I was unhappy with my own performance. I was very insecure. Very self-oriented at that time (No comments, people who know me now). So consumed with self, I could only sulk when the rest of the gang whooped it up in celebration.
A concerned friend (Donny) leaned back over his bus bench and quoted me the often used anatomical discussion of frown vs. smile. He reminded me that it took more muscles to frown than it did to simply smile. In my state of grumpiness, I replied, “I can use the exercise.” He smiled.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future. It is something you design for the the present. – Jim Rohn
The power of the smile
You know, my friend’s smile, that day, made me smile. I wouldn’t admit it at the moment, but the warmth of his smile started wearing away at my hyper-sensitive self pity.
What makes you smile?
I have always aimed to make people smile. Perhaps a bit too much. In college, I was accused of being too “shallow” and “non-serious.” That person did not know me to the depths of it all, but she (it was usually a “she” for those type comments.) had a point. At that point in life, I didn’t care about my career. I just wanted everyone to smile.
As Reckless Heart sang, “I want everyone who hears this song to cry.” I was the inverse of that. I wanted people to not cry – everyone. I had seen a lot of anger. People were using all kinds of substances all around me. I could not save everyone. But I could make people smile – not HBO Stand-up comedy style, but in a “I’m standing up in front of you, against your pain” kind of style.
I have some funny friends
That same determination shown by Donny back in 8th grade was worth carrying forward. I have been surrounded by funny friends throughout my life. Thank you Father God.
The summer after that football season. I joined a two week youth camp-out trip. It was a sweaty van ride with 13 people through the Smokies. We slept in puddle-pocked tents. We ate cereal and peanut butter and jelly (a diet with which I can thrive) and sang beautiful camp fire Christian songs. They broke me down, those people reprogrammed my insecurities. I went from a brooding shorter quarterback to a gum chewing character acting performer in school plays. I still had terrible insecurities, but I didn’t use them to burden others anymore.
I began my life as a smile evangelist.
I started cartooning. This helped me to not take my art too seriously. As a handed a character sketch to a friend (often “hers” as well – Hey, I was in 9th grade!) it always brought a smile. Always. Nothing at all has always incited a smile, except my cartoons.
My Blog These Days
This is my introduction to the “Why” of this blog, and most of my products. Money is a, well, non-funny issue. I have spent a lot of it to learn ways of blogging and promotions online. I have more tools for video and marketing than I will ever be able to use. But, just like football to the 8th grade me. I forgot to smile at myself.
Maybe some day, I will pick a super niche and make the perfect blog. But for now, I’m going to stop taking me so seriously. I don’t know that I am called to make anyone understand anything or convince anyone of the stuff I have learned. But I can open the door to learning, health, and happiness through the simple smile.
In the next few weeks, check out my blog for a discussion of humor through cartoons, physical comedy, character acting, parody, and satire. Who knows, I might get inspired for some more subjects.
Now, I have a question
What makes you smile? It’s that simple. Just answer in the comments below. As you do, you will likely discover that even thinking again about smiley things helps you to forget whatever is bugging at you today.