Just One Smile and the Pain Is Forgiven

Just One Smile and the Pain Is Forgiven

Have you ever heard the song by Anne Murray called “A Little Good News?”  

There’s a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story’s one more than I can stand
Just once, how I’d like to see the headline say
Not much to print today can’t find nothing bad to say

She talks about how nice it would be to have one day with nothing negative in the news.  No murders, no bombings, no robberies, no negative.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have the news filled with how pollution was cleaned up, a county fair was going on, people were doing kind acts?

The world is filled with negatives.  Lately, it seems as if the negatives are becoming worse and worse.  Thanks to the social media and instant news, we are faced with learning things immediately.  When I was a kid, we didn’t learn about things for weeks, even months after the fact. 

a-smileI admit that this last week was difficult for me to keep a smile on.  Most know that I was a police crime lab/crime scene technician.  In the 15 years I handled more than 10,000 cases, 90% of those in the field, working side by side with police officers.  So hearing the news of officers being murdered and the anger at law enforcement has been hard.

Lots of people have asked me how I was able to work scenes, seeing all the negatives in the world, and one of my answers was that I attempted to find something positive in everything that happens.  Believe me, it is not an easy task.  When things such as 9/11 happened, how does one find something positive?  Simply by looking at how much worse it could have been.  The planes could have been filled to capacity, the Trade Centers could have been as busy as a normal day.  How many stories did we hear of people saying that something happened to cause them to be late, and therefore, they were not in the World Trade Center?

When I worked with children who were abused, my view was that by my doing my job, was I making it possible for the children to remain away from the reach of a dangerous person? 

I learned a long time ago some of the following information.

  • Smiles are definitely contagious. So is laughter.  My favorite thing when I am blue is to hear children laughing.  Who can keep a straight face when he or she hears a baby giggle or laugh?  It is one of my favorite sounds.
  • Smiling dissolves tension. It is true.  Smiles, laughter, positive energy, cause a release of endorphins, which is a naturally made chemical that tells the brain that the person is happy.  It helps reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Some studies claim that smiling can boost a person’s immune system. Don’t know how true that is, but I am willing to believe.
  • People feel more comfortable around others if they are friendly and happy. Yes, this could be a problem if the person doesn’t want people to be friendly and chatty, but I can’t find fault with this logic.
  • A person is more likely to be believed and found trustworthy if he/she smiles. This is not a fake smile, but an honest to goodness smile. 
  • Smiles can help the mind become more creative. I really do agree with this one. 

So, what does all of this have to do with Jane Austen and Austen Authors?  I have a challenge for everyone.  I would like to see how many of you are willing to take this challenge. 

I want each of you to find a passage in one of Jane Austen’s books, a section of one of the movies, or even a line from one of the many JAFF stories.  One that makes you laugh or smile.  Share them with us.  And I want you to write it down and carry it with you all day long.  Any time you begin to feel negative, take the paper out and read what you wrote.  Then share with us how many times Jane Austen has inspired you through your day.  If you would like, make copies of the inspiration and pass it along to others.  Let’s see how many people we can make smile thanks to the inspiration of a great lady, nearly 200 years after her death.  Rather than allow anger and hostility cloud our days, let’s share encouragement and kindness through her inspiration.

Are you ready for the challenge?  Here is my ultimate fave from one of the movies.  Seeing Mr Darcy walking across the field, his shirt unfastened, great coat flowing, hair tussled, heading for Elizabeth, my heart flips and I have massive smiles.  Just reading the description, how many of you felt a smile tugging at your lips?

Mr.-Darcy-sunset 

Your turn, tell us what Jane Austen inspiration makes you smile. 

6 Responses to Just One Smile and the Pain Is Forgiven

  1. What a wonderful post!! SO very needed these days, for sure. Humor and smiling in the midst of difficult situations is indeed a key to dealing with the pain. I learned this as an RN in a Neonatal ICU. Medical people jest and laugh, yes even in what seems like inappropriate times, as a way to deflect the tragedy from burrowing too deep. Yet, while an odd defense mechanism, levity is often surprisingly appreciated even by those who are most directly affected by the sad situation. It is an internal need to remember that no matter how bad we feel, life is good and there is the promise of joy. A simple smile can accomplish much.

    I can’t get started on my favorite moments in P&P or I will never stop! Certainly the scene you mention from the 2005 movie is one of the best for placing a smile on my face!

  2. Thanks for this marvellously uplifting post, Melanie!!! So many things are happening that shouldn’t, and I loved what you wrote about focusing on the positives and thinking happy thoughts. No better place to look for happy thoughts than in Jane Austen’s novels and their adaptations IMO !!

    So many AWWWW moments in them, but the first that sprang to my mind now (probably because I read it yesterday) was the scene in Pride & Prejudice where Mr Darcy & Mr Bingley come back to Longbourn on the morning after D’s second proposal was accepted, and Mr Bingley greets Lizzy so warmly that it’s obvious he’s in the know. And then Bingley, who’s never been one for little schemes like these, goes and makes sure that D & E get their ‘alone time’ without Kitty getting in the way 😀 And then to cap it all, Mrs Bennet takes E aside to commiserate with her for having to ‘put up’ with walking alone with Darcy. Oh, what hardship that must be!! 😉

    Thanks for the lovely post, please keep writing them!

  3. I love that little smile Darcy makes when Elizabeth turns about a Caroline’s mentioning of Wickham and she goes back and turns the pages for Georgiana and then looks up at Darcy. I love that look upon his face. But I also love Mr. Bennet’s comment about laughing at our neighbors and they at us…”FOR WHAT DO WE LIVE, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?’” asks Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice PP 364

    Even in today’s world we love to laugh…

  4. I love the scene in the 2007 Persuasion with Rupert Penry-Jones, where he is standing, silent and grave…waiting for Anne’s answer…with no hope, thinking that all in lost, that he has no chance and then he learns that she is not engaged and the look on his face as every emotion is portrayed. It makes me smile every time as I hold my breath.

  5. Thanks Melanie, a really feel good moment for me is the beautiful inspiring music of Andrew Davis that plays at the beginning 6 part mini-series. The music is so fresh and I absolutely adore the sewing on the fabric with tiny buttons. You cannot help but smile. Jen

Your thoughts are precious!