Smiles plant seeds of hope

Before I sit down to write any commentary, I spend lots of time daily thinking about how to begin. What happened today? What needs addressing? I take so many things so seriously, I end up changing the focus daily. As soon as I submit one commentary, I begin thinking about the next. This one took longer than usual.

Of course, with this commentary, warm holiday and Christmas wishes go out to all of you with my genuine hope that 2018 brings peace and health to all.

If you are familiar with my monthly commentary, you know I’m going to ask you to work toward that peace and health.

Any solution to a problem begins with us. We need strength and resolve to tackle every day. We need our health to propel us to take on the day’s challenges. That’s why I believe everyone deserves health care if we profess to want a thriving community, state and nation. Without healthy populations and a healthy planet, what do we have?

No one desires illness, death, war or want, yet we allow — yes, we allow — many voices to deter us from human rights in the name of security, national prominence and a return to a mythical era when all was well with the world.

No place on Earth was ever perfect, because humans are not perfect. There was no idyllic era in human history, and even if there were such a time, we didn’t have the internet to tell us about it. There has always been war and suffering and subjugation of one tribe, faction or nation by another. Despotism, slavery and misery have always been perpetrated upon masses. Throughout history, many somewhere were suffering at the hands of tyrants, so-called lawful rulers and those believed to be chosen by a higher power.

At this most wonderful time of the year for many, look at what we have and where we are going toward the benefit of ourselves, our families and our nation. I’m not delighted, but I remain hopeful.

Your heart and your head tell you what you want. There is no reason to deny anyone the same thing you want for yourself, unless, of course, you are an unthinking, hateful, selfish individual who believes you are better than everyone else.

Everyone is human. We have the same bodily functions. We feel joy and pain. We laugh. We cry. We suffer. We hurt. We celebrate, and we mourn. Humans create war and poverty and slavery and hatred for one group against another, and humans are the answer to ending these issues.

It begins with a smile or a laugh or a simple “Hello.” Complaining diminishes. The moaners and groaners still exist but to a lesser degree. They become the exception, rather than the rule. We don’t cross the street or try to hide to avoid “that person” who always has doom and gloom to share. We stop to talk and share meaningful statements and not empty words.

Blood pressure goes down. Pharmaceutical conglomerates cut production of high blood pressure drugs. Bicyclists and joggers begin to incrementally fill designated areas of the road. Health care professionals gradually motivate patients toward prevention instead of cures. Consumption of junk food sees a slight but downward trajectory.

Clean-water projects burst onto the international scene and create healthy living conditions where few, if any, existed before. Human health and the health of the planet are on the rise. Education flourishes. New technologies emerge. Unemployment dips to unheard of levels. Leisure activities convert to community cleanup days, supporting the disadvantaged (the poor will always be with us), mentoring youth and sharing prosperity in distinctive and caring ways that become traditions.

The world will never be perfect, because we are not, but what begins on a small scale grows as does a seed. Many seeds take root and flourish and benefit untold numbers, as do our small acts of kindness and caring. The more we root tenderness into our common routine, the stronger we become collectively.

Especially at this most wonderful time of the year, consider smiling more, complimenting frequently, sharing often, caring deeply, hugging whenever you get the chance, spreading cheer and laughing a lot. Small stuff has a way of multiplying.

Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at or at 702-339-9082.

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