The Smile Book

A book I used to keep.

In it, I’d record happenings, conversations,  events which brought me some moments of happiness and/or pleasure. I wanted to write them down so that I’d remember them, so that I’d be able to derive some joy from the experienced.

However. Over time, as the records of happy occurrences increased, instead of having the desired effect, the book tended to make me… more despondent, because instead of focusing on the happiness they brought me, I’d think: These experiences are past, and they will probably never happen again. The recording of these events, if anything, only heightened my nostalgia for conversations and people which might never take place or appear in my life again. Needless to say, happiness would not come near such thoughts.

Today, as another happy conversation unfolded, I wanted to record it down somewhere – but I had disposed of this book some time ago.  Fortunately, I had thought to take a picture before doing so. That got me thinking and reflecting on the purpose of my writing down things in the first place… Perhaps what I need to change is not the act of writing itself, but my attitude and mindset as I look back on them.

Instead of feeling despondent that these happenings are over and past, I should feel blessed that I had the chance to encounter them in my life. A kind word, a pleasing exchange, an act of kindness – these are things which mean a lot to me, and noting them down should serve as a reminder that I have been fortunate enough to experience them, that there is still human warmth to be sought in this world, and not all hope is lost.

So… Maybe I should start a second book 🙂

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