Complacency has a way of making even the hardest worker lazy. And, laziness can make the hardest worker turn a blind eye to adversity; easily tempted to sit idly in hopes that everything will become fine on its own. Unfortunately, adversity will often make a bad situation even worse.
My wise cousin Jamie, who is much younger than I am, inspires our family by sharing wisdom she gains herself. It so happens to be that, during this Thanksgiving week in the U.S., Jamie shared this quote oozing full of wisdom:
“Stuff happens, good stuff, bad stuff, frustrating stuff, hopeful stuff. The stuff that happens isn’t important; it’s how we respond to it that is. Create your own favorable condition by choosing to react positively to negative stuff.”
---Orison Swett Marsden
For this week of Thanksgiving, I just so happen to be posting my cover of Nat King Cole’s unpretentious song full of simple wisdom “Smile”. I thought the quote from my cousin, and this song, worked very well together; serendipitous, in fact. “Thanks”, Jamie. I’m BIG into “signs”. I’m not a trailblazer; plowing my way through the unknown. I’m a careful planner; the vigilant type that’s always keeping a mindful eye on the present, guided by the past, and preparing for the future. And, most of the time, the future holds many uncertainties no matter how much planning takes place. This also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. It’s from Larry Nelson, a radio veteran who passed away in 2007. He said in response to having five children:
“If you really wanna make God crack up and chuckle, tell God what your plans are.”
Just as the song implies, the power of positive thinking begets intangible benefits that only hope can inspire. No matter how much planning takes place, the tiniest monkey wrench can throw everything into chaos and then what happens? The challenges ahead can be faced with little hope and certain defeat. Or, those same challenges can be tackled head on with great hope and certain determination. Only God knows what miracles can take place. Rising from the depths of despair, a simple “smile” can pave the way for greater things to come.
"Smile" is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. In the lyrics, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile. "Smile" has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin's film. The song was originally sung by Nat King Cole, charted in 1954. Singer Sunny Gale also covered the song, sharing sales with Cole, as shown in the music trade Cashbox. It was also covered by Cole's daughter, Natalie, on her 1991 album, Unforgettable... with Love. In Britain, rival versions were released by Lita Roza and Petula Clark in 1954. Clark later re-recorded it for her 1968 album The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener, by which time she was a personal friend of Charlie Chaplin.