It looks to me like folks are having a difficult time smiling for some reason.

I can understand why considering the world that we now live in and the many distractions that come our way.

Recently I was in a conversation with someone facing and struggling with some serious health issues. That alone is enough to keep you from smiling. However, while we were talking I could not help noticing they were smiling.

I could not help it, so I asked them why they were smiling.

Their answer actually caught me off guard.

He was smiling, I was told, because he was still here.

In other words, this person would take the tribulations instead of the fact they could be dead.

Not something to smile about you might think. To them it was a lot to smile about.

That comment got me to thinking so I started noticing folks and realized very few people smile.

So how does this fellow facing a life and death situation manage to smile when most people are frowning?

Why do I not smile more was the next question?

I did some soul searching and came up with this thought.

I don’t smile as much primarily because I do not see the world as a wonderful place. I don’t see it that way because I let outside influences dictate to me the world in not a good place.

The national news is always focused on the bad things in the world and the worst culprit in all of this is Facebook.

I enjoy Facebook and keeping up with my friends and relatives lives. I like knowing what they are doing and especially their family activities.

Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed a shift in Facebook (I don’t watch news channels anymore, because of this issue) to so many folks putting their political views and in some cases spouting hatred for those that disagree with them.

I do know how to unfriend folks so when I start seeing that kind of activity I do just that and drop them as a friend (not sure they were “friends” to begin with).

I have always heard and tried to live by the thought that you should keep negative people out of your life.

So if you want to smile more, then remove as many of those things that keep you from smiling out of your life.

So here are a few thoughts: Politics will always be politics; bad news travels way faster than good news, so wait on the good news; bad people do bad things; however, there are still more good folks; decide what is important to you and let the rest go; and most importantly we only have one life to live, so make the best out of it.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. Byron has been involved with local theatre having done over 50 musicals, a dozen stage plays and wrote and directed an original play “Splintered Judgement.” He is available for speaking engagements. You can contact him at

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