Optimism

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I’m an extrovert. I’m one of those people who bounce out of bed in the morning, full of energy and loving the day in front of me, before I even know what it holds. I’m an incurable optimist. I find the good in people, even when it’s hard. I look at any given situation and I see how I can change it. I see where the beauty of the puzzle is. I see happiness around ever corner, just there for the taking.

Because of this optimism, this extroversion, I see the world as my oyster. I see opportunities. And I most certainly do not see the doom and gloom that so many around me flout as reality.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Over used, granted, but a good, and well-known, example of an age-old question. How do people see the world around them? And what causes them to have this outlook?

I’m the half-full type. We haven’t even seen the best of the best yet. We’re only getting started folks!

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not always happy in the face of adversity. I don’t smile down every situation. But I don’t let it get to me. I don’t dwell on the unhappiness. I am often deeply affected by things, but I’m selective in what I let affect me. War and pain, starvation and disease, I let these get to me, because I believe there is a good result from feeling pain over these matters. But an annoying dog? A flat tire? What good can come from being upset by these matters? Only unhappiness within myself, and a bad attitude in dealing with other people.

So, since this is my own self-diagnosis of me, imagine my surprise and chagrin when, a few days ago, I was smiling with pleasure as nothing specific and my brother wanted to know what I was smiling at. That whole day I was happy, and found myself grinning like a fool at random times, for many reasons. I smiled because I love cooking, and I was making a great meal. I smiled because I completed a tough assignment in school. I smiled because it was a beautiful day. And every time my brother saw me smiling, he asked why.

This leads me to a question. What is it about our culture, our general attitude towards the world, that causes us to refrain from smiling at the people around us? Honestly, how often do you look up while shopping and notice someone grinning with a true, pure, simple happiness flowing through them? And if you do see it, do you smile also, because life is good, or do you step away quietly because “normal people” don’t smile insanely without reason?

Why don’t we smile more? Why don’t we fill each day with happiness? Why is it usual for my family to ask WHY I’m smiling, but people rarely ask why I’m NOT smiling. Part of this is probably me. But I do know that I get a whole lot more odd looks on the street in America, and here, when I smile than when I have a relaxed face, or even a scowl.

So, it’s time I started smiling more. Care to join me?





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