be positive artSometime late last year, I commented to my bride that I wanted to make a positive change in my life. Why I came to such a decision is a bit puzzling, since there had been no life-altering incidents in our lives to spark such a thing. It just felt right. Consequently, my resolution was equally low-drama. I simply decided that from then on, I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to say something positive to whomever I might be talking to.

I didn’t intend to go out of my way to find things to say, or new and different people with whom to talk. My goal, if it could be boiled down to such a word, was simply to take advantage of those chances which came along to make a positive remark.

It’s been seven or eight months since I made that modest resolution. My life hasn’t changed. I haven’t fallen into sudden new wealth or discovered a horde of new friends. But what I have noticed is a subtle change in myself.

I’m a little happier.

Not that I’ve ever been a mopey sort, but I’m not blessed with the deepest smile lines either. (My sweet wife boils that concept down to its essence as “eye crinkles.” I love that expression and all it portends.)

So, here’s a thought to anyone seeking to allow a little more sunshine into their world: the next time you have the opportunity to talk to someone — friend, stranger, relative, whomever — find something nice to say. If you can’t say it about them, say it about the weather, or the future, or anything else that comes to mind. But say it.

Oh, and it helps tremendously if you mean it.


About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!
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6 Responses to

  1. kathils says:

    See, you had to go and add that ‘mean it’ line. *sigh* I’ll try.

    BTW, eye crinkles are awesome.

  2. joshlangston says:

    You’re not required to mean it during ABH. But then, during ABH, nobody cares.
    And yeah, eye crinkles are definitely awesome.

  3. Karen says:

    Hey Josh, y’know what else works? SMILES ~ simple concept, you don’t even have to talk to anyone. Ever noticed how most people are frowning or looking downward while walking? But if you happen to make eye contact and give them a smile, some of them actually will smile back!
    Even if you don’t make eye contact with anyone, just walking around with a slight smile or at least a pleasant expression makes me feel a lot better – and nobody can know what I’m smiling about!

  4. Great idea. I’ll have to give that a try! Who knows, I could be even happier.

  5. Dora Maria Figueroa says:

    Dear Brother,

    I just read your wise thoughts.

    You helped me much, right in this moment in which it is almost impossible to find happy news in our country, and as we are victims of this system naturally the talks and worries are all over. I´ll do my best to try and follow your advice.

    The situation affects very much money incomes and work of my son Marcelo. Buiding has gone down about 50% during the last year and the situation is really difficult with an inflation of 30% and the same retirement we can¨t increase. Inflation is 30% and salaries are raised 11% so our savings go down and down.

    But as we say al least one nice thought a day !!- This is no doubt the grandchildren who give us the happiness we enjoy at present. We are healthy which is also VERY important , (without taking into consideration our bones that start producing some pains here and there ) quite natural being 73 !

    Don´t complain about your government because compared to what we have you must feel in heaven !!

    Hope you, Annie , children and are just fine .

    Lots of love and success in all you do and write.Love you,


    Date: Thu, 9 May 2013 14:41:09 +0000 To:

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