The Weekly Smile 12/31/2018

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!

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34 thoughts on “The Weekly Smile 12/31/2018

  1. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap – 12/31/2018 – 1/6/2019 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

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  3. Piglet in Portugal

    I agree: 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.

    I don’t know what the future will hold. Everyday it is reported that a minority group is offended by something which turns into a media feeding frenzy. Sheeesh, never mind about the billion other people who aren’t offended. It makes me smile and also sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is hard to say where we will go from here. i always say we have no where to go but up, and then comes a new low… Oh well, I’ll stay hopeful and perhaps those who are fed up with this division and hate-mongering will finally make a little headway in the world.

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  4. Pingback: Weekly Smile: Snowman and Ski Slopes – Piglet in Portugal

  5. Pingback: It’s Forgiving Fridays! A Change for 2019 and Choose Beauty – ForgivingConnects

  6. ForgivingConnects

    Trent, thank you for sharing this. I really acknowledge your caring for humanity. I have a spiritual mentor named John-Roger. He said that if you want to be happy, think happy thoughts.

    One thing I do in this world is to remind myself of Rumi’s quote, “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” To me, it’s a way to see the love in everything. This doesn’t mean I condone hurtful things, just that I do that with neutrality and acceptance. Anyway there’s my rant for the day. :) :)

    Blessings to you Trent. Thank you for your courage in sharing your smile.
    Debbie

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I get what John-Roger is saying. I think that we can and should so things that make us happy, but do them for their own sake and not in search of happiness – it isn’t something we find on the outside but on the inside. But that was more my topic on 12/24 while this one was about trying to spread the wealth of those smiles :)

      Nice mini-rant ;) Looking forward to seeing your post today :)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Pingback: 2018’s Last Smiles | Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

  8. ladynimue

    This. Exactly lot of this *rant* is the reason I keep trying to be positive and have a positivity in my posts and bearing otherwise. A little kinder , a little relaxed will help a lot of folks. Will join in this week for the first time ..

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Corina

    Unfortunately, you are right on with your rant. I wish our smiles could infect others, a worldwide epidemic of smiles! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

    I’ll get to writing my smile post a little later today, I think. As long as Maya is not on my lap, I might get to do it!

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

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  10. Pingback: Weekly Smile 12/31/18 – A Visit With Sandra

  11. Paula Light

    What a great post! I’m so glad I read it. Love to end the year on a positive note because it’s so easy to slide into negativity when reading the news. I have friends of various political types and I get irritated when they get negative but that just keeps it all going. Better to focus on what we have in common. What made me smile? Well, oddly, visiting the Reagan Library with friends on Saturday and finding ways to appreciate a President I once thought had no redeeming qualities at all. I’m not quite ready to extend that feeling to the current occupant but hey. Good vibes. Good vibes! 😀

    Anyway, I like your style and I’ll follow you into 2019! Happy New Year! 🎆

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m not going to get political, but I feel the same about both of those presidents ;) Thanks for the follow. I’ll stop by your blog in a while and go farther than the post on Sue’s prompt that I read earlier.

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. Gary A Wilson

    Hey Trent. Well said! I normally equate a real “rant” as having a lot less logic and rational thought behind the words, but understand why you used it. Nonetheless, your points are very well stated.

    You’ve heard me mention this before, but I still believe that part of the problem is that our news media suffers from two weaknesses: 1) they make their money by keeping people stirred up enough to follow their stories and 2) have decided not to be journalists who tell us what happened or is happening and, to use their words, “make a difference in the world”. That second point connects their opinions with tools that can drive regional or national opinions resulting in a minority of non-elected folks deciding what is and is not important as well as what we should think about it.

    Now – I’m close to ranting, so will stop and help you do what I really believe is important and that is giving us a place to stand philosophically and recall all that we have to smile about.

    Trent, let me know if I already shared this for a past smile event, but it was a huge smile for me that stretched over many years and is still making people smile.

    Late in the 1990’s I built and managed a team of technical support engineers and one day, we found out that one of our own was in dire trouble – breast cancer. Here is the story of what they did to help her out. If your family has been touched by this curse – you might want to have tissues handy because this team really stepped up and made a difference. I call it Jacquie’s story and it will more than make you smile.

    https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/jacquies-story/

    I’m looking forward to many more smiles in 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      There are still some journalists out there, but they are often marginalized.

      Truthfully I think most people are good and want to do good, but we are so manipulated by all sources and our differences are highlighted instead of similarities being celebrated.

      I know I’ve read this post before and remember the story, but I don’t know if you used it for the Weekly Smile or not – I don’t think you did. Anyway, if you don’t put up another New Smile, I will put it in next week’s recap post :)

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  13. Pingback: The Weekly Smile 12/31/2018 – Ladyleemanila

  14. dawnkinster

    I have many friends who are right supporting and many friends who are left. The two groups don’t really know each other. I try not to reveal my politics, try to listen to both sides. But it’s hard. I mostly hide which doesn’t solve anything, I know. Sometimes I get brave and point out where people are really saying the same things but in different ways. Mostly I try to avoid the whole political thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I also try to reveal my politics, but I think it should be pretty obvious to people paying attention :) Perhaps the solution is to talk about the values and ideas behind the politics and leave mention of those sides out of it….

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  15. Penny Wilson Writes

    I understand your rant, Trent. I think there are more of us that agree with you than you might think. I know today, I tend to turn the news OFF more and more. I just cannot allow that much negativity to enter my life. Happy New Year, my friend. I’m glad for your smiles. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. Sarina

    Mentioning of broken bridges reminded me if a mildly amusing thing someone said recently. “even if the devil owns the bridge, don’t burn it, for you may someday be in need of that bridge.”
    Keep on, keeping on. Little smiles are sometimes the only thing between us and complete chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That is a good saying. Yes, the little smiles are sometimes what holds us together. I am sorry you had such a rough year and am glad you have some of those little smiles to keep you together.

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