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“Smile your way through this world even if you have nothing to smile about, you will impact every person you smiled at in some unknown way and that my friend is something to smile about.”

I love every emotion I experience and not just the ones that make me smile although in the end, I can’t justify not smiling after all is sorted out. My emotions give texture to my soul and serve as launching point that leads to the enhancement of everything I’m connected with and discovery of all that I can connect with! They also challenge me in how to accept, express, and control them so that there is a synergy between my mind and heart so that they compliment each other through a balance of distribution. I have no better understanding of my world than when I connect with my basic, organic emotions while I keep them within the confines that the circumstances deserve. I mean seriously, out-of-proportion displays of emotions seem to be more for misdirected dramatic effect, or regrettable and unflattering attempts for attention. Just an honest opinion based on a variety of personal observations and I’m not saying I’ve never been guilty of the same. I just catch myself now!

But back to smiles. Two important things affect my ability to smile. The people I love the most, and those who annoy me, with many being one and the same including the three that live under the same roof as me! Anyone whose ever been a spouse, parent, and child of parents, know exactly what I’m talking about since levels of familiarity covers greater swaths of divergent personalities despite the genetic similarities. Regardless of all the circumstances, I still end the day scratching my head and smiling and I have to thank God and/or my own warped perspective for that! Yahoo!

But the other reasons I have to smile? I’ll start with a common phrase to my family; Give me one reason you’re in a bad mood and I’ll give you ten better ones why you shouldn’t be and if that doesn’t work, stay away from others since I can’t find a good reason to screw up someone else’s day!

Another reason is that I find most people around me initially give me a reason to smile. Most who know me are aware that I spend a lot of time at the gym as part of my physical, emotional, and social therapy, and provides a proper vista, overlooking the ocean, to exercise my cognition while I write these musings.

I see a lot of the same people, especially the employees, who through their friendliness and approachability, begin my days with what I hope are genuine smiles (even though I know they’re on the clock) but either way I try to beat them to punch by smiling first because I’d rather initiate than avoid an opportunity to brighten someone’s spirits including my own.

I love “my man Jessie (who I’ve adopted), “my boy Val”, “the radiant Marlena”, and the “magical quintette of youngsters Mina, Nicole, Nina, Alisa, and Ross” because they’re smiles seem so effortless even though I know sometimes they’re not, just like mine. But at least it doesn’t take much encouragement and it’s a gift that keeps me lifted through the times when I’m by myself and the products of my injury sneaks up on me. Gracias Mijo’s, y Mija’s!

I’m not excluding the other folks there like Paula, Joe, Elisa, Chad, Nick, Rose, the Fernando’s and a lot of countless people there who contribute to the simple fulfillment of my life’s basic satisfactions. I’m not sure how important it is for all of them to know that but for the record, just wanted to point it out and give them a shout out by name. Again gracias!

A recent story about Paula who is a trainer and has a laser focus during her sessions that used to make me think she was unapproachable. Just raised my social game and fueled my competitiveness to at least say “hi” and smile which I did and now I really enjoy her although she still can have a unsettling stare that keeps me on my toes. Funny I was walking through the training room the other day and heard a voice yell “smile”, because I guess I looked “grumpy”! Across the room Paula was looking at me with her own smile and immediately, whatever look was on my face, matched her expression. Afterwards I thanked her for noticing since I really had no justifiable reason not to be smiling. I did tell her if I don’t respond in the same manner, she better check on me for another head injury because currently I find a lot to grin about. Just a quirky memory but I think the message has significance if only to exhibit the magic of a simple exchange of random acquaintances and the need to look out for each other.

So it’s not required that we smile all the time because really, it’s not realistic. I was raised early on to try to keep inner turmoil hidden because who needs to hear it unless it can be used to justify how I don’t allow myself to submit to them. I get it that some might think that I enjoy speaking from a pulpit for the attention, maybe because it’s hard to ignore me. Wrong!!! It’s because I refuse to ignore others when I have a choice and I’ve nurtured a lot of hope for myself following the avoidance of a “Joe Dico extinction” a year ago so now I have hope for so many others. Everyone has a story, good and bad, so I just project mine in a positive exercise with a smile because whining about it serves little purpose and generally not received well after the entertainment value has worn off!

So share a smile if it’s in you and if not, keep your head up and your eyes open for one directed your way and don’t worry about any ulterior motives. Outside of “firm embraces” that Mel Brooks exercised in the show “Mad About You” which I strongly support (again how I was raised), there is no greater exchange and transference of positive influence than a well-placed and genuine “smile”. A combination of both is a simple miracle that can’t be measured when we are the recipient, and desperately in need of them. Oh and if your desperate, I’m always around for whatever two you need as long as you return the favor when needed. For me, there’s always those “random angels” at Spectrum Redondo like Jessie, Marlena, Paula, Val, Mina, Nicole, Nina, Alisa, etc., I can seek out but then again, we have so many angels to make us smile, even if we have to initiate it! Remember it’s all about “changing OUR world and how WE live it” for the better and for those who we share it with.

Last quote that sums up poignantly and simply what it took me paragraphs to elaborate. “Smile, for it can lift a saddened heart. Smile, for it can light the darkest day. Smile, for it can warm the coldest heart. Smile, for He is watching us all.”