That is the question today? Seems odd I know. But let me break this down into two parts for you.
I was initially inspired to write about this particular topic when I was biking to work one morning recently. I have an electric bike, I won't even get started on how much I love my bike, as that's another whole blog in itself. But I do refer to it as my happy place - and contributing to this is the Buckshot bluetooth speaker I have on my handle bars. I'm a playlist addict, so each morning I pick my list and have a good old singalong on my commute.
I was in the middle of town the other morning as Smile by Elvis Costello was playing - and the sheer joy the lyrics brought me made me want to share them. Have a read...
Smile though your heart is aching Smile even though it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky You'll get by If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You'll see the sun come shining through For you
Light up your face with gladness Hide every trace of sadness Although a tear May be ever so near That's the time you must keep on tryin' Smile, what's the use of cryin' You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you'd just smile
I noticed smiles break out on the faces of people as I passed them with this song playing and thought it's this simple. A smile is so contagious. And it is. So to end part one go out there and smile at a stranger.
Sadly - the day after I thought that these lyrics were going to change the world was the morning that New Zealand was crushed by the news of the death of Greg Boyed. Unbelievable, devastating, and I didn't even know him personally. My thoughts and love go out to his friends and family.
I realised then that it's not just as simple as smiling even though your heart is aching. There is no smiling through your fear and sorrow. And the last thing anyone should do is hide every trace of sadness.
I attended a funeral of an 18 year old boy this year. I held my kids hands through it as they tried to come to some sort of understanding about what had happened, and why they had lost their mate. And like Greg, no one knew. No one saw it coming.
This blog isn't going to change the world. All I want to say is keep smiling when you feel like smiling - because it is contagious, and it does make the world a better place.
But promise me that when you don't feel like smiling - tell someone about it. And then tell someone else about it. And then tell someone else about it.