Smiles battle prominence of bad news

Lynn Moncus

No doubt, many of you remember the commentator who used to begin his radio broadcast with “There’s good news tonight.” He would probably be fired today because good news is rarely reported as most members of the media seem to have the notion that listeners want to hear and see bad news only, and they surely supply us with more than enough of that.
Recently, I was watching the late news and decided to do a little counting of bad news items. During the first seven minutes, reports of sixteen murders, wrecks, and other atrocities were broadcast, and that was supposed to be an example of “balanced news.” I stayed with the entire broadcast to see if sixteen good news items would appear and didn’t hear one. No wonder I usually rest my eyes just about news time and don’t awaken again until that battering is over.
Of course, we are aware that we live in a world filled with much turmoil, but we also know that much good still exists even though we usually have to search for it by getting away from the media and finding pleasant topics about which to think and talk about. We seek friends who have affirmative attitudes and lively senses of humor in order to find respite so we can relax for a little while.
To be greeted by a cheerful “Good morning” often sets the stage for a change of attitude. A warm smile lets us know we will be able to push the bad news into the background and to listen to pleasantries as we clear the air and begin to relax. We really are fortunate to have a number of people in town who are warm and friendly. Just walking into some of our businesses changes our frowns to smiles.
Two such businesses are Shipley’s Systems and Tucumcari Ranch Supply. I tend to go to both of them on occasion just to be greeted cheerfully and to have unhurried visits with people in both establishments. The Shipley family must know what I want to buy even when I am not sure just which ink cartridge I’m after or the name of the gadget I might need to add to the collection of gadgets around here. They take the time to help and to laugh as we amble around the store.
Jimmy and Stella Watson always have plenty of smiles to share as they search for food for Aggie because I can’t remember the right name. Jimmy likes to tease and can usually trap me with one of his “redneck” comments; whereas, Stella quietly shows me what I need and often throws in a sample of some new item they have received. We just naturally talk the same language, and I go away feeling very refreshed and eager to return.
Although some people seem to enjoy spreading “doom and gloom,” most of us really appreciate those who prefer to be cheerful in spite of all the surrounding turmoil. Such a person is Jo Priddy who is an example of affirmation. She always greets us with a cheerful “Good morning” and a warm smile and doesn’t mind laughing heartily in order to change unpleasant subjects. I often watch her to see just when she will begin to introduce new topics to begin the attitude changes and usually don’t have to wait very long. She is also wise enough to know that some changes are impossible and then becomes quiet, thinking her own thoughts. She is the “balance” many of us need in order to have a well-balanced day.