It's a question generally thought to be most commonly asked by teenagers going through rough times. But we all know that ain't true. Inside the heads of about 99% of adults, this question hauntingly swirls to the forefront just about every time someone else tries to get them to cheer up. The teenager has many issues to deal with, many new feelings they don't know what to do with, many external pressures and expectations to stand up to. They kind of have an excuse not to smile, so let me excuse them, if I may. But adults? What even is an adult? We were all once teenagers. We already had the chance to sit and sulk, and if you missed it and were all smiley back then, well then, maybe try it for a day or two, and then snap back up to adulthood. It's so easy. Just sit and ask yourself Why should I smile? I have this thing wrong in my life, this person doesn't treat me right, that person annoys me, this person expects of me too much, that person doesn't love me, that person is ruining my life, that person is in my way, this person is sick, that person is emotionally messed up, I am clueless as to what to do in my life, I just don't care anymore. Just sit and think about all that for two days. Sulk. Sulk. Sulk. Yes, that's why adults who don't know why they should smile are still teenagers..................
SNAP OUT OF IT!
We need to start smiling more. And no, not because it takes 5,389 less muscles on your face to smile than to frown, and no, not so other people should think we're happy, lest they know the deep, dark secrets we carry, the depression, the sadness, the despair, underneath all the layers of a picture perfect life. And smiling does not make sad things disappear. SO WHY SHOULD I SMILE? I'll give you a few reasons, let me break it down, and let me first say that I did not think about this before I started writing, it's just the way I work, so forgive me if it's not such an organized list, because I'm about to make it up. Please try and read this as relevant to your life as possible, because you cannot smile for the things I smile about and I can't smile for the things you can smile about, but we can definitely learn from each other.
- Hashem created the world. Hashem created me. Hashem loves me. I am Hashem's child. I think about His love. I think about His Kindness. I think about His constant upkeeping of the world. I live in this world, and whether or not I understand how it all works, I know it's being taken care of. So, I smile, like a child who looks around at his parents, his siblings, his baby, his toys, and just smiles.
- Hashem has given me so much. Since, the day I was born, I was blessed with countless things, whether they be a physical part of me, emotions, spirituality, good trips with friends or family, good times, good toys, good cars, good money, hands, fingers, toes, feet, shoes, clothing, makeup, good food, good weather, good roller blades. Good music, that part in the play I wanted so badly when I was in 6th grade. The $25.00 I won from a scratch off lottery ticket. So, I smile like a fat kid near the nosh cabinet, like a rich spoiled kid in a roomful of toys.
- Hashem has put me through a lot of physical pain. Since I was born, I was blessed with boo-boos.. Don't try and stop me. It's all good. The first time I fell, I'm sure it hurt to scrape my knee, to bleed from my lip, I'm sure it hurt to fall off my bike, to fall down the steps, to fall up the steps, to get slapped, or beat up or pulled by the hair (that was the worst) by a bunch of siblings. It also hurt when I broke my toe, as a 21 year old, it was painful having bronchitis every other week, having pneumonia as a child, bee stings, mosquito bites, faliing, falling, falling, falling. Every time, I got hurt, though, there was a band-aid, a cream, a medicine, a doctor, a Hashem. So, I smile like a child getting a band-aid with Hello Kitty on it, after getting a paper-cut.
- Hashem has put me through a lot of emotional pain. And yes, there's what to be thankful for in that. And I'm not just talking peer pressure, and insecurity. I'm talking, depression, low self esteem, being yelled at by everybody whether it's a teacher, a parent, a friend, family, principal, told by everyone you're no good. I made mistakes, I blamed everyone for everything. I sat in my room and cried for days, for years. I ended up on the streets, the emotions are indescribable. The anger, the confusion, the anxiety, the guilt, the horrors, the crazy. The I want to die. The There Is No Point Of This Crazy Stupid Life Its Making Me Crazy All I Am Is Numb And I Am Never Gonna Get Better And There Is No Hope And This Is Insane And Just Kill Me Or I'll Kill Myself, Screw This World I Hate It Get Me Out Of Here, the WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME G-D WHY WHY WHY???? The trying to get better, going to all the programs, getting all the help, trying so hard, getting somewhere than falling and thinking what was the point? But I know that every single one of those painful experiences has led me to where I am now, and where I am now there is hope, and there is life, and if I'm writing this or reading this, there is hope where there is life, and I am happy. I am truly happy that I went through everything I did, because I made it through and it has helped me in whatever way it has helped me, whether to understand myself, or others, or to be more knowledgeable in decision making... it was all for my good, and it helps me appreciate the good in life. By going through darkness you can appreciate the light. So, I smile like a convict who dug a tunnel for years from his prison cell, and finally broke out.
So, that's a few reasons to smile. A few concepts to think about. And we all know how powerful a smile can be. One person smiles, and unless there's really really grumpy people near him, the people near him will smile back. And that, my holy holy holy holy sisters and brothers, is why we should learn why we should smile.