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