June 2023

June Thought of the Month

"Forget your troubles, come on get happy. You'd better chase all your cares away."

~ Judy Garland

In the face of almost daily mass shootings, wars and threats of war, toxic politics, and worse, it's hard to find a reason to feel good about what's ahead for us. I always try to balance the negative input I get every day with something lighthearted or fun. The other day I came across the song Get Happy from the musical Summer Stock.

Its basic message is that when facing a world of bad, we can choose to take our focus off what brings us down and turn it to the things that make us smile. This is something we instinctively knew when we were young. The next time you're out at the mall or the grocery store, observe the children. Toddlers enjoy the world around them in the moment, most new experiences inspire wonder, a smile, or contagious laughter.

Our children know what most of us forget when we grow up: Happiness must be pursued and grabbed every chance we get. Kids get recess during school so they can have fun, laugh, and play before they go back to studying. When they're home, they have playtime. But then one day adults tell them they're too old for toys, they don't need recess anymore. It's time to get serious. And happy begins the long fade from their lives.

But we can bring it back. Devote time in your daily life to things that make you smile or laugh. Give your brain a break from whatever has darkened your day, if only for an hour or so. Did you like cartoons when you were little? Watch them again online. Read a book you know will lighten your heart. Check out comedians' YouTube channels. Pursue whatever brings you joy.

Start each morning and end each day with something that brings a smile to your face and puts happiness in your heart. Our troubles may still be there but we will be in a better mental state to deal with them.

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