Laughing Baby

Laughing Baby
Can U Smile?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why are people so shocked?

I've been away for a while--life happens. But I am going to make a better effort to post at least once a week. Some of the matters that have happened recently caused me to want to speak up and offer a few thoughts.

I don't know that I could say I am smiling about this, nor am I feeling cavalier about what I am thinking. But I just wonder why everybody is so shocked and so seemingly surprised about this matter with Paula Deen? She is a white, 60-year old, Southern (Belle) woman, and it is not at ALL unlikely that she has made some kind of racists statements over the course of her lifetime. She has said it herself. Why is everyone so shocked?

I keep saying that I intend to write about a few things, a few matters on which I have contemplated and thought about and simply want to share with other thinkers and readers. We seem to be living in such a voyeuristic and unforgiving time in the world. Social media and technology makes it so much easier to blast our feelings, good, bad, and indifferent, and it really is interesting, for lack of a better term, how folk can be so mean. While it may be true that some things are just not pleasant, it certainly seems that far too many people have an uncaring, even hostile attitude, even making rash and harsh statements about things before they even know all that is going on. I would dare say that a rash statement and a harsh attitude is just as bad or worse. Seems like people have forgotten how to show restraint.

I think we need to lay off of Paul Deen. I don't even know why everyone is so surprised. Until people of different ethnic groups and different cultures and races sit down and talk about difference, similarities, and sameness, nothing is going to change. These are not new attitudes. And the reason people are still stuck in their narrow mindedness is because we don't want to deal with the pain--YES PAIN--of facing the reality of being wrong and admitting some very painful yet realistic truths.

Can't say that this is a matter to smile about, but we can get to the smile, if we are willing to face a few realities.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Spread the Joy!

This morning, millions of people, literally, had the experience of joyful hearts. Wonderful stories will be shared about the joy of the morning.  There is the personal joy of receiving gifts and being with family and loved ones. There is contagious joy when we see the smiles of others opening gifts, children having fun with their new toys, grandma thrilled with the new pashmina. There is even vicarious joy when our hearts are moved by a heart-warming story like Tyler Perry offering to rebuild the burned home of an 88 year old great-grandmother who lost everything in the fire. The news report said she is raising about seven great-grandchildren and that she and a four-year-old great-granddaughter escaped. ( If you can't smile about at least one of those things, in the wise words a now deceased elder, "it's something bad wrong with you."

Ever notice how people try not to smile when you tell a joke or say something funny, but somehow they can't seem to resist smiling?  Some take longer to "crack a smile," but smiling is often very irresistible. Maybe you have had the occasion of noticing yourself smiling after something similar to the above experiences. Were you surprised at yourself when you realized you were smiling? I think I am going to look more into what's behind the distinctiveness and irresistible nature of smiling--we'll work on that for the coming year.

This is my smile encouragement for Christmas Day 2010. When it happens, try to make a mental note of that feeling of joy. Recognize when the smiles come on your face, sometimes instinctively. Especially take note of smiles that come as you observe the joy of others--that's contagious and vicarious joy!  Whenever you can, when you have the opportunity, try to find a way to help others smile and laugh and feel the joy. And don't let it be something that just happens at Christmas.  I think that's what is really meant by keeping the Spirit of Christmas all year, the intentional desire and purpose of  experiencing and spreading joy. That's the thing to hang on to.  Keep that feeling--SPREAD THE JOY!!!

Joy and Peace!
R. Fitch

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Positive or Negative

I think it is interesting to speak with people who insist on being positive about everything, yet you can tell from their conversation that their thinking is really negative. They are negative thinking in their opinions and judgments, otherwise their comments would be more positive. Someone once called it talking out of both sides of your face.

You might be a negative person if you somehow seem to find something wrong with practically everything someone tells you. You might be a negative person if you question absolutely everything and always want to debate. You might be a negative person if you somehow seem to find the need to blame someone for everything that doesn't go the way you think it ought to go. You might be a negative person if there are certain people on your "list" who can never do anything right. I hope you get my drift. And I would dare suggest that should you continue being negative, should you continue being a fault finder, you may also, at some point, find yourself lonely and alone.

Eventually, people start noticing the negative attitudes, the negative remarks, the negative vibes. When that happens, most people begin to distance themselves. Most people really do not like being in a place or environment of constant pessimism, defeated and destructive attitudes, unenthusiastic and pitiful viewpoints. The ones that stay around usually do so because of a sense of duty or pity. But even then, especially in a work or employment setting, it is usually a virtually nonproductive environment. Negativity at work as well as at home is extremely damaging to relationships.

I once read this "prayer" posted in a personal work cubicle:  "Lord if I have to talk today, help me to say what is good and right, or else, help me keep my big mouth shut!"  That might make for good advice--a positive daily affirmation. And smile when you say it!

Smile Everyday!
R. Fitch

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gotta Smile!

I just heard a discussion on the daytime show, "The View," where the ladies were talking about a comment made by Sarah Palin about her having desert, seemingly to spite the advocacy of First Lady Michelle Obama who stresses more diligence when it comes to the diets of children and youth.  Having struggled with my weight all of my life, I understand Mrs. Obama's position and support it whole-heartedly.

I felt very strongly about making a comment about Sarah Palin.  For starters, for Mrs. Palin and countless others, there is absolutely nothing President Barack Obama can do right.  While we may not like it, and I would dare say most of us don't agree with any of it, we may essentially be at the mercy of the critics and naysayers from now until eternity--they are not going to stop.  For those who think change is taking too long, change is not always quick, fast, or in a hurry.  Sometimes, and it is more the rule than the exception, that change is a slow process.  How long ago was it when the voting rights act was enacted?  Do we still have problems?  How long has it been since laws changed to make people do what they should have been doing all along--like affirmative action, which became a negative byword in recent years.  Have people's attitudes changed?  Oh, they're just not saying as much openly.  And that's the biggest change that needs to happen--minds and attitudes. So you wonder, will attitudes EVER change and how long will THAT take?  Sarah Palin is a classic example.

Where Mrs. Palin is concerned, it really does not matter who the President is.  Since she has come into the public eye, to use a line from the popular TV show, "House," starring Hugh Laurie, Dr. House's friend Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) says--"They could build monuments to your arrogance."  I say touche when it comes to Sarah Palin.  She reeks arrogance.  And arrogance is not the same as confidence.  Confidence carries itself in a way that does not need to try to make or prove a point, does not need to grandstand, does not need to criticize, demean, and bemoan others because the self-confident manner/demeanor will be conveyed in word and deed.  But arrogance--often called vanity--seems to have the need to be noticed, needs to make a point, needs to win the argument, needs to show how smart, needs others to know who they are and that they are "in the room."

If by some chance, someone may read this who may have the ear of Sarah Palin, please tell her that her  attacks on President Obama are really not that impressive, but more of a turn-off.  She would do better to keep things on the "up and up", keep her speech and her presentation positive.  And if she has a problem with change, she may have a problem with a culture that likes change. Wouldn't she seek to change some things as a political leader?  She even wants a presidential CHANGE, does she or doesn't she?  She can't avoid the word or the event in a culture that is always looking for something new and dynamic and even thrilling.  Not only that, but also share with her that it is usually the case that "pride (vanity) goes before a fall." ("Pride goes before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction." Proverbs 16:18, The Bible) 

It matters not what your reasons are for the attacks you make, Mrs. Palin, it does not even matter whom you attack.  It is very true that the pridefulness, the vanity, the arrogance, is what is released and conveyed and that arrogant negativity always produces negative consequences. As I recall, someone was expelled from heaven because of pride.

So what's the smiling point?  Perhaps we are yet to see.  "He who laughs last . . ."

Just keep smiling!
R. Fitch

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Talk about smiling . . .

I just finished watching a news clip about a woman who came to the aide of a police officer who was being attacked by a man in a traffic pullover.  The officer was actually on GMA (Good Morning America) on yesterday to tell the story of how he had been attacked and a "guardian angel" appeared and helped him fight off his attacker.  The video was recorded on the officers dash-mounted video camera in his patrol car.  Today the two of them were brought together and he now knows who his "guardian angel" was.

I was all smiles as Angela Pierce commented that she went to help the officer out because no one else was stopping.  And from watching the video, girlfriend got in some good licks!  Why would something so violent make me smile?  Because for at least this one time, the bad guy got his!

But not only that, I am married to a retired law enforcement officer, and I have also worked in a related public safety occupation. I know first hand, the threats and dangers of all public safety work, police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel are all vulnerable to the unpredictable and volatile nature of what they do, everyday, day in and day out.  They put their own emotions and feelings aside to take care of people when they are at their worst.  So I commend and lift up Angela Pierce for her boldness in coming to the rescue of this unknown police officer, perhaps putting her ownself potentially in harms way.

We need more Angela Pierces in the world!  More people who are bold enough to stick up for what is right.  More people to come to the rescue of whomever needs help.  More people to care enough about another fellow human being!  Good job Angela!

Peace and Blessings!
R. Fitch

Monday, December 13, 2010


It was absolutely refreshing to be checked out of a store last night, by a young woman who was smiling!  I actually commented to her that I noticed how she was smiling.  She seemed pleased that I had noticed and mentioned that she had been smiling all evening, but it seemed that no one else had noticed.  I told her that I had noticed and it was good to see her smiling.  Seems that little customer service tip is lost on a lot of people.

In a former job, I used to do a lot of training, much of which involved interpersonal skills as well as customer service coaching and training. One of the points I would attempt to convey is that customer service or any job that involved interacting with people, is made less difficult by kindness.  Dealing with people is easier when we have a pleasant disposition, even in spite of how the person we are dealing with is behaving.  Certainly, there are those people who can be difficult.  But I would wager that in a good number of instances,the difficult behavior is because there is an expectation they are not going to be treated with kindness and respect.  So they start out the interaction with an "attitude."  And very often, the reaction on the part of the second party is to respond in kind, to also "get an attitude."  Occasionally, before you know it, a heated disagreement happens and the resultant, usually negative, consequences follow.

It was such a pleasant and refreshing encounter at the store.  I want to offer an encouragement to customer service personnel, or anyone involved in a people profession.  Your professionalism is demonstrated in your kindness.  Your smile shows your own self-confidence, it says to your clients and customers, "You can trust me because I know what I am doing."  It will make your job a lot easier and also help to promote good will on the part of your organization. And even when mistakes are made, the problem is less intense because of kindness. Offer a refreshing smile to your customers!

In celebration of smiles--
R. Fitch

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

People Will Notice

Some years back, a woman who was very dear to me and is now gone on to glory, commented that every time she saw me, I was smiling. (Just to let you know, I didn't just wake up one day and start smiling!)  I don't recall precisely how the conversation went, but I think I remember saying to her that there is a lot to smile about.  I might not be able to smile about everything all at once, but I can smile about what's happening in the moment.

Even at that moment, my joy at seeing her caused me to smile.  She was someone whom I greatly admired, and even today, various memories of her cause me to smile.  She was very special to me for a number of reasons, perhaps most especially because of our mutual love of music. And it's OK that pleasant memories come to mind from time to time and allow us to feel good and to smile--that's why we can and DO remember good experiences.

And while there may be plenty to frown about, a lot to scowl about, a lot to be negative about, we all have the option to think about more pleasant things. We all have the option to generate positive energy through positive thinking, and taking control of our thoughts, making EVERY thought captive to what is good, what is pleasant, what is true (Philippians 4:8).

These memories, these thoughts, reminded me that people will notice when you smile. And lately, I've been noticing people noticing.  They may not smile back, but they are seeing the smile on my face.  And if this blog does nothing more than encourage someone to smile today, maybe even tomorrow, then the objective has been accomplished. At the end of the day, if you want to be noticed, if your objective is to be seen, try smiling.  Someone just may notice!

Smile On!
R. Fitch