Still, Smile (Written January 10, 2017)
Life might not always be happy,
And your life might be sorrow and shame,
And you might be beset on every side,
Still, smile, all the same.
And when life has turned against you,
And it feels like a loosing game,
When the deck seems stacked against you,
Smile, all the same.
When you are wronged and you’re betrayed,
When you fail and are stuck with all the blame,
When nothing is right and the world has gone cold,
Still, smile, all the same.
Smile, though the world may scorn you.
Smile, though they laugh and jeer.
Smile, though the world has left you.
Smile, though no friend is near.
Smile, for joy is a choice you alone can make,
Not something that’s won in life’s cruel game,
And the world can’t make you abandon hope,
So smile, all the same.
Two things brought this to mind: the stories of Pandora and of Hestia.
Pandora was the woman created by the gods to punish Prometheus for giving the secret of fire to man. She was made with all the gifts of the gods, but one horrible curse: curiosity. When the gods sent Pandora to Prometheus they gave her a jar (or a box, depending on where you hear the story) which they told her she absolutely must not ever open. She, of course, being cursed as she was with curiosity, opened the jar. Inside the jar, set free when Pandora opened it, were all the word of man: hunger, war, plague, etc. But in the bottom of the jar, left behind when Pandora managed to close it, was hope- the last chance man could hold on to.
Hestia is the goddess of the hearth. She is both the first and the last of the gods, the greatest and the least. She guards the hearth fire. She represents home, the last refuge. Hestia, and her later Roman counterpart Vesta, in many ways represented the heart of their respective civilizations. They represented hope and light in the greatest of struggles.
Think about this. When the gods unleashed all the worst punishments on man, hope remained. At the heart of the Roman empire, one of the mightiest empires in history, is a living manafestation of hope. Hope is the beginning and the end. It is what you don’t care about when you are doing well, and what matters most when you aren’t. It is what allows you to chose to be happy when there is no reason to be happy and every reason to despair. And nothing can take that from you. That choice will always be your choice, no matter how bad life treats you. You are the only one who can choose to abandon hope and give up your happiness.
So smile, even in the worst of times. Hope is the final refuge, and if you abandon it then you have lost. When everything is wrong, the choice you make to be happy despite the bad may very well be all you have left. Don’t let life trick you into thinking that is a choice you can’t make.
Smile, be happy and hope.
THANK YOU FOR READING! PLEASE RATE AND REPLY!