There was a lot to smile about this week :) It was Christmas, of course. I talked to family and friends. I played with the dogs, walked on beaches, walked in the woods, did a lot of writing, some reading and other such stuff. Here is a photo I took on Saturday:
But like last week, I want to use this week for more philosophic discussions.
Last week I said that one reason I do a Weekly Smile is so people can look back at their week and see that there actually was something to smile about, no matter how small. Smiling, and happiness, isn’t something we need to go in search of, but something we have if we only recognize it. Yes, people can have very hard times. And there is mental illness that makes it impossible to see the good. But if we take the time to think about it, it is the small moments, the little smiles, that make up our life.
This week I want to talk about why I started writing the Weekly Smile two years ago. Yes, I do paste a little about it on every smile. Have you read it lately? Well, here is a little more. (Note: Some might see what follows as very political. It is, in a way, but ti is a tirade against the politics of division, not necessarily one party or another. If you don’t want to read politics, just look at the pretty picture I posted, smile and skip to the end :))
* start rant :)* Our world is more divided than it has ever been in my life time, and I am not young. Hatred is the rule of the day. We live in a world were most people believe fake news more than inconvenient truths. I feel that when I turn on my computer, hate just pours out of it.
As a whole, we are ruled by fear which breeds selfishness which is the mother of hate. Not everyone is like that, of course. But social media, more efficient political systems/parties and news outlets that tailor their stories for very narrowly defined groups/demographics create such a chasm that those who are more empathetic and accepting are now also angry and full of hate because the old bridges between sides is now gone and they feel they are a dying breed.
This is a world wide issue, though we see it stronger in the West. From India to Africa and encompassing all religions, people have been more drawn to their corners and have fortified them.
And it is getting worse by the day. Those in power have learned how best to manipulate people and are creating wider and wider divides. Rule for the base, not the people. Put my good against the greater good and then sell the idea that my good is the greater good. And do it by peddling fear and more fear.
And no, it isn’t just the right who does this. The left today can be just as bad and hateful. yes, they want a message of equality and freedom for all, but they have been driven to their fortresses and are on a war footing.
But I don’t think it has to be that way.
I talk to friends that want to “Make America Great Again” (was it ever not great?) on one hand and friends who are at the bleeding edge of the Progressive movement in America and find that I have a lot in common with both, Yes, some of the MAGA people out there are racists who have finally found a voice, but not all of them are. Some of the Progressives want to rip down every institution we have and recreate the country in their image, but most honestly just want to help people, all people.
I think we need to find a roots level way to bridge this gap. No, we will never agree politically. But perhaps we will learn to tolerate each other and be able to acknowledge different opinions. Of course, I hate only hate and can’t tolerate intolerance ;) What I mean by that is there are extremes that we should never accept, like racism and the rape culture. We need to find a way to point out these things and find ways to ease them, and hopefully erase them.
So that is the other half of the Weekly Smile. The world is full of negativity and I want to try to counter it, even if in a small way, by sharing smiles. It has been proven that smiles are contagious. I want to spread a little bit of positive energy. I know I won’t change the world. A dozen of us wont’. But perhaps we can be like pebbles cast into this pond of life and cause some ripples. There are others out there doing it as well. I truly believe most people are getting tired of their fear and hatred, but it is being force fed to them. Let’s try to break the cycle.
And so while I had many smiles this week, my main smile is reserved for the power of the smile itself. We might not cause a revolution of the feel good, but it is worth a shot :) May 2019 see an easing of hatred and more smiles for all :)
*end rant :)*
What made you smile?
Come on, I’m sure you smiled at least once last week. Why don’t you share it? I hope you can join in!
Here is list of “rules” and guiding ideas. If you don’t have time to read it right now, just remember that this is an exercise to spread positivity. Don’t smile about the misfortune of others. Don’t smile in a way to excludes others. Make sure a 12 year old can read it.
And remember, the Smile can be anything, large or small. Nothing, nothing at all is too small for a Smile! Sometimes taking time to notice those small, every day smiles is more important than those once in a lifetime huge ones :)
To join in, write a post to share your smile and then leave a comment on this post with a link to your smile. Or, if you prefer, do a pingback to this post (pingback = have a link from your post to this one). You can post any time until next Sunday evening (to be simple, I will say midnight GMT, which is 7 PM Sunday for me). Next week I will compile all of the Smiles and do a separate post of them on Monday morning just before the smile. (I will shoot for around 7 AM EST).
Try to use the hashtag #WeeklySmile when you use Twitter or other social media that uses hashtags. I searched Twitter and found that #weeklysmile had been used only a handful of times back in 2012 and 2013. It hasn’t been used since. So it’s ours! I also registered it on Twubs.
You can use the graphic at the top. It is the official graphic for the event.
Now go out there and find something to smile about! :)
“There are days I go in search of the kind, compassionate, loving and beautiful. Despite what we sometimes see on the news, FB and elsewhere, there is much more beauty in the world than ugliness, much more kindness than hate or cruelty. Perhaps we should all have a goal to make at least one person smile every day.”
When I used to do a monthly compassion post, this was my theme:
Empathy is the glue that holds society together and compassion is what makes a group of people a civilization. Without holding our hands out to our fellow humans we become savages. We are all in this together, in a closed system, so we must all help each other. How lonely life must be for those selfish people who don’t realize this simple truth! How lonely for anyone who doesn’t realize that all are our brothers and sisters! How lonely must the self-righteous be!