THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Making someone smile

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Life is good. You may ask how can I say that in these dire times. Well, I can’t argue they are dire. But thankfully some people are on a constant mission to make someone smile even in the darkest of times. I’m far from perfect in this mission but I do my best. I love to laugh, I love to make others laugh and I try to find humor in every day. I’m also trying to find more ways to help.

This is going to bring some smiles to some young person. Photo by Mike Hartley

All of us can see and feel the stress each day. The periodic runs on food and staples. The lines for virus tests or food lines going on for miles in areas of the country. The loss of income to millions is a crushing event making even shelter and food in jeopardy. Maybe a parent having to stop work for their children. Single parents without support systems are thrown into impossible choices.

Think of the doctors and nurses who hide their horror from each day’s sickness and death to smile at a patient through a mask or put a smile on their smock. They know if a patient keeps a good fighting spirit their chances could be better. And I imagine there are times when they know the patient isn’t going to get better and their families can’t be there with them and they give them a compassionate smile to help them feel at ease. Think of the strength that takes. Think of how much these medical people need to smile but can’t because of all the pain and suffering they experience each day.

Nurses Memorial in DC. Photo by Mike Hartley

I think of all the smiles we don’t see now because our faces are covered in masks. And I don’t say that negatively because they should be in masks. I’m still smiling under my mask as I pass people. But I’ve incorporated a head nod more now to acknowledge my fellow man. Because I remember nodding to people in adjacent cars stuck in traffic or maybe co-workers several cubes away too far to communicate with verbally without disturbing others. Maybe share a head nod with the cashier as you check out just in case she can’t hear through the mask and plexiglass.

I look at the many pictures on my walls of friends arm in arm smiling that I would like to be with and see the smile for real. I would like to see their smile instead of just the laughter through their mask or over the phone. I want to see my children smile after I hug them. But we must become patient and smart again.

I want to see the smile on my mother-in-law again instead of the confusion she now has because of the pandemic. I have so much sympathy for our elder generation. I’m in my 60’s and this is difficult for me some days just worrying about loved ones. I saw first hand early on what mental stress and toll it took on a senior family member. And it’s playing out millions of times over to deadly results.

It’s also affecting our entire service industry. Why would someone want to assume the maximum risk for minimum pay? Well right now they might be forced to but I’m sure more made or will make career exits to something else.

It’s changed mentoring and learning in professional environments. Communications have had to adapt.

How many empty chairs will their be. Photo by Mike Hartley

I would love to see both students and teachers smile again. I know both and it’s not a situation either want to be in. If it was just the teachers and students they might be able to work this out together. This thing is exploding in an adversarial way when all parties need to be working together.

There are only less than adequate and difficult options available to all except the elite/rich schools and even for them, it’s less than optimal. It flat-out sucks and it’s getting worse because expectations and needs aren’t what reality can meet. How do we make children and their teachers who are so dedicated to helping them learn and grow in ways that parents can’t happy for what can be done, and accept without hostility on what can’t be done, for a short period of time?

I watch the news now and I wait for that last 5-minute feelgood segment of some wonderful people making some wonderful contribution in many ways to keep society from falling apart to get the smile I need from watching the previous 25 minutes of news. There are so many making these types of contributions that I know we will get through it. But the selfishness, elitist individualism, and greed of some will make it difficult for those trying so hard.

I thought to myself who can I make smile. And I thought of my granddaughter who I was missing that day, a day we usually spend together. So I pulled out my old video camera and I got about 15 hats out because her new thing is hats. And I showed her my hat collection and asked her if we could try them on together when we see each other again. I heard she loved it and smiled. Mission accomplished.

Today onto more smiles being created for some adults. It won’t balance out all the pain but I hope it puts a dent in it. As my Mom would always remind me, “there are a lot more people worse off than you so feel good and help out.”

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I can’t help but laugh at Rudy G.
  • I listened to the Terps basketball game on the radio today. It kind of reminded me of when I was a young kid.
  • How do you know when a contractor is lying. When he starts to tell you what time he is going to be here.
  • The house is starting to smell good.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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