September 22


Today's quotation:

You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people.  Why not make an earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others?  Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.

Lydia Maria Child

Today's Meditation:

We choose the person we present to others as ourselves.  We choose to say things and do things that can bring others up and encourage them, or bring them down with discouragement.  It could be a very valuable exercise for us-- and for all the people we affect with our words and actions-- if we were to examine the words and behaviors of other people that we truly appreciate and value, and then do our best to do and say similar things.  We value those attributes for a reason, and if we adopt them in our own behaviors, we can help other people to see the positive sides of life.

Cheerfulness, of course, can't be turned on like electricity at a light switch or water at a faucet.

It is, though, more often a choice than not.  Often we don't even think about the choices we're making before we speak or act, but that doesn't mean that we're not choosing.  Being cheerful also doesn't mean being unrealistically bright and chipper, ignoring things that are going wrong.  Giving constructive criticism is important, and it's not necessarily being gloomy and negative-- sometimes the most positive things we can do involve dealing with problems that truly need to be dealt with.

Why not try to show others your cheerful side?  Why not try to make them feel good by seeing your cheerful example?  Why not contribute positive energy to a situation-- why not share your energy with others (being cheerful) rather than trying to suck their energy out of them by bringing them down (being gloomy)?  The choice most definitely is our own.

Questions to consider:

How often do you share your cheerful side with others?  Does it affect them?

What kinds of effects do we have when we act gloomy and negative?

Why do we sometimes make the choice to be gloomy rather than bright?

For further thought:

It is easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows by like a song.  But the person worthwhile is one who will smile, when everything else goes wrong.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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