Put on a happy face, have a nice day

Published on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 21:35 - Written by By Debbie Lee Townsend Guest Columnist

I have become very self-aware recently when it comes to how I am “feeling” at any given moment.

This afternoon, I had the overwhelming realization that I felt like a sad face. (Yes, I mean the emoticon … you get the picture).

I thought to myself, “I am sad, and it doesn’t feel good.”

My next thought was obviously there was someone to blame, and I needed to figure out whom and confront the situation.

I felt that someone must have done something to hurt my feelings.

Then I remembered no one can do anything to hurt my feelings. That would require allowing someone that power over my life as well as that I impute motives on someone’s actions toward me.

This reminded me of something I read a long time ago about being offended.

The premise was we can’t “be” offended. Offense is something someone tries to give to us, and it requires the action of accepting it on our part - thus the phrase “to take offense.”

If we don’t take intended offense from someone, the person who tried to offend us still has it.

Besides, once again, this assumes motive on the actions of the perceived offender.

I started thinking about a time when the smiley face symbol was everywhere and on everything, accompanied by the slogan “Have A Nice Day!”

(Yes, I’m that old!)

I remember the naysayers coming up with their Anti-Happy movement, including the antagonist T-shirts and posters showing the smiley face with a line through it and their own sentiment expressed in the simple statement, “Who are you to tell me what kind of day to have?”

It occurred to me some people actually choose to be a sad face and will argue their right to do so.

I call them Eeyore personalities, named after the beloved “Winnie the Pooh” character.

You know them.

Some of their names and faces just popped into your head.

That got me to thinking - if it is, in fact, true that a person can choose to be a sad face, then it only stands to reason the opposite is true as well.

I decided then and there to be a smiley face.

I realized I had the right to decide how I felt at any given moment and that, in fact, I had a right to be a smiley face for no reason at all.

Besides, it is possible that someone unintentionally tried to spread their sad face onto me.

As one of my friends so aptly expressed on her Facebook page recently, it is probable that I don’t what the person, the one who hurt my feelings, is going through in life.

There is one thing I do know: I can choose to be a smiley face no matter what happens around me and so do you.

Be a smiley face by choice. You never know when it might be just what the sad-face person near you needed most of all.

Have a nice day!

Debbie Lee Townsend is a Hawkins resident and regular YES! contributor. If you have a column you’d like to share, send it to yes@tylerpaper.com.