Was Nat Right?

(Since I first wrote this and even published it for a few hours last week, I’ve talked with a few wise friends, so my compass is starting to point the way a little better, but I can certainly use your help, too.  I’d be grateful if you will put in your two cents’ worth, if you can spare it.)

“Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by…”

This is not one of my normal narrative/moral-to-the-story posts tonight.  I have some questions.  If you’re expecting to read a ways down the page and then have the author spout some Solomonesque wisdom illuminating the correct path, you’ll be disappointed.  You’ll not read, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.”  Because, I’ve got nothing on this one

The Lovely Lady and I sat this evening and in between the silences, we talked.  She learned something new about me.  “You mean, you don’t laugh at your own jokes?”  The question came almost incredulously.  I never thought about it before.  Most days, I seek out a pun or a word play joke and post it on my FaceBook page; amusing a few and probably annoying many more.  I have missed a day or two, not because I haven’t been in the mood, nor because I’m sad, but because I don’t always have time.  On those days when I am down, the days when I am saddened by either personal bad news or the troubles of someone near to me, I still post the jokes.  I’ve never really taken the time to analyze the merits or the integrity of doing such a thing.

The wise words, which did come from Solomon, have always caught my fancy:  “A merry heart does good, just like medicine.”  So, the jokes have become a part of my routine.  When I first started posting them, it was to offset the serious and sometimes argumentative posts that many of my friends share.  I just thought that we need to lighten up a bit and enjoy life…Let me rephrase that.  I just thought that you need to lighten up a bit and enjoy life.  Okay, so there may be a little hypocrisy in the “do as I say, not as I do” mindset.  I may need to work on that a bit. Or, a lot.

I have never made it a dogma, but I guess that I have always basically agreed with Nat King Cole, when he crooned the lines printed above, “Smile, though your heart is aching…”  I never intended to mislead, never meant to lie, but the jokes may have led you to believe that I am a lighthearted person, skipping through life as though the rough spots affect me not one iota.  That is certainly not the case.  In fact, recently, it seems to be just the opposite.  It’s even possible that I brood more than most over those spots.  Until I started this blog over a year and a half ago, I rarely shared my moods with anyone but the Lovely Lady.

So, now I need to know…is it dishonest to tell jokes when you’re feeling blue yourself?  Is it better to answer the question, “How are you today?” with, “I’m doing fine,” or with, “Not so good.  Let me tell you about it.”?  Should I “…light up my face with gladness, hide every trace of sadness.”; or do I unload what’s really in my heart?

I don’t want to burden you by asking you to answer all of those questions.  I do, however, desire your input, so if you would like to help me, you may use the comment box below, or make a comment under the posting for this blog on FaceBook.  Give me a one word answer or unload the whole wagon-load; I’ll love it either way.  If you want to just give a one-word answer, tell me “Smile” or “Unload” to indicate what you do when the sun’s not shining quite as brightly on you as you could wish.  If you can’t say it in one word (and I’m guessing there are more of you than I know), you may fill the spaces with verbosity, as I often do…or maybe you can give me the benefit of your wisdom in private sometime.

Boy!  I hope I haven’t disappointed you, haven’t destroyed your illusion of a guy who’s got it all together.  I do want to have all the answers, but this one still makes me scratch my head and wonder.  

So, now that that’s done…What’s the longest word in the English language?  Smiles!  Why?  Because, there’s a mile between the first and the last letters…

“Don’t Worry.  Be happy.”
(Bobby McFerrin~Singer/Songwriter)

“Do not lie to one another, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”
(Colossians 3:9)

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