One of the great helps
“One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.” — Amelia Barr
When I think of my favorite people, a great many of them can be described by the word “cheerful.” Chances are, you number at least a few cheerful people among your favorites, too. There’s nothing more encouraging than a person who is able to keep a sincere smile in the most dull or difficult circumstances. This is quite a different trait from giddy silliness or forced optimism (both of which are helpful at times). The cheerful people I know do not seem clueless or in denial; rather, they seem to possess a deep awareness that gloom solves no problems. They know that smiles are free, needed and contagious.
Barr has a good description of cheer in the phrase “work with a full sense of life.” When I am most despondent, I am usually mired in immediate circumstances, over-focused on difficulty and oblivious to how much control I can exercise over my own sadness. As Barr implies, work is a great remedy to this sort of counterproductive rumination. Today, I plan to keep my hands busy and my mind focused on the satisfaction of tasks accomplished, realizing that even if I do not see instant results, there is meaning and blessing in my diligent efforts. I’m sending you a smile — take it and pass it along — and be of good cheer!