Friday, April 17, 2009

Bright Side of Life

Someone asked me in an email, and then someone else asked me on the way home last night... "do you always smile? Doesn't anything get you down?" Even my brother remarked the other day that I "always have a silly grin on my face."

Fa, cosi sia! (so be it). I would much rather bring joy to others with a smile. I like to have them say to themselves, "what's he smiling about?" A smile is contagious. It's fun. It's powerful.

Sure, there are a number of things that bother me. I've known sadness and sorrow. There are times to mourn, there are times to rant, there are times to wince in pain, but there are also times to smile. I have made smiling such a regular practice that I don't think about it any more. I just do. I smile so much that people wonder about me. But that's okay. If I can keep the thoughts on smiling for no other reason than the goodness and joy a smile brings, then I am happy about that.

Many people dwell on the bad things; the lemons that life doles out from time to time. Heck, there are so many people in Washington, DC, who have a permanent scowl on their face, it's like the scowl came "free" with the purchase of a suit and wingtips. Arrrggh! Bad things happen to all of us. That's life. Life goes on, and we better make the best of it while we're here, 'cause life is short.

A few years ago, my partner and I took his mother to see the show Spamalot at a theater in DC. One song that was featured at the closing of the show was the tune, "The Bright Side of Life," which I have learned was originally introduced in the 1979 Monty Python film The Life of Brian. Not being a Monty Python fan, I wasn't aware of the tune until I heard it years later. I still sing it to myself from time to time.

Life is short: SMILE! H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, "Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."

Here are some of the lyrics to the tune "The Bright Side of Life":

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing life's gristle,
Don't grumble,
Give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps.
Just purse your lips and whistle.
That's the thing.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life,

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin.
Give the audience a grin.
Enjoy it. It's your last chance, anyhow.

And here's a YouTube video of it, subtitled in Italian for some of my blog readers che provengono dal paese di origine di mio padre.


Marcos Roberto - Brazil said...

Great post!
A lesson learned...

Anonymous said...

I was introduced to this hilarious movie in 1979 (my freshman year in college). We were sitting in mechanical drawing class working on our drawings and bored out of our minds. A friend began to tell me about the movie and I was hooked! Of course my favorite scenes were with Pontius Pilate and the Roman guard!

Thanks for the memories.