I have often been called Happy Jack or Lucky Jack. I wonder is it because I am happy that I am lucky or am I lucky because I am happy and smile a lot? People ask, “Why are you always smiling?” “It is vanity the wrinkles are rearranged and I look better.” I joke. In fact I am advertising a good emotional state. People know I am friendly it is a win-win situation that promotes good.
I hitchhiked most of my way around the world in the sixties. I was young the world was mine; mankind was at the peak of extravagance, before thoughts of conservation, I had not realized there was a limit to the world’s resources. Success in thumbing a ride relies on your appearance, clean and tidy, not too big a bag and most important a smile. Choose an easy and safe place for your lift to pull-up and it is a good idea to display a sign showing where you going to.
When the lifts are scarce and the sky is clouding over it is easy to forget to smile and instead get a worried look on your face. The driver has to make a snap decision and cannot decide what the desperate grim look means so does not take the risk. I learned a smile is the same in any language it says “I am happy, at ease and friendly.” People are attracted and respond positively to a smile.
I feel sorry for people who look for sympathy airing their troubles with a dismal gloomy face. Many people burdening others with their hard luck stories. What they do not realize is they are keeping their troubles alive, magnifying them and turning friends away. I feel admiration and compassion for a person that smiles when plagued by misfortune.
The way to improve your chances, not only in getting a free ride, is a sincere smile. By caring, being helpful and being friendly your chances of making new friends increases and it starts with a smile. When you increase your circle of friends you increase your good fortune. The more friends you have the more chance you have of hearing about opportunities that can benefit you. It is called networking in business circles in religious groups it would be fellowship and in all walks of life it is commonsense. Smiling, being helpful and friendly promotes happiness and luck.
An example, Pauline and I went to at a music venue we got there early. Sat at a table in a good position all available tables were soon taken. There were no empty tables but some unoccupied seats. Two seats were available at our table. Four people came in looking for a place. I smiled and said “There is room at this table you just need two more chairs.” After introductions we became friends, Terry belonged to a ukulele club and invited me along next time they met. I was looking for a ukulele club but none were advertised in the area. I went along and made more friends willing to pass on their knowledge. I am really lucky and the nicer I am to other people the luckier I get.
The music was lively blues guitar; everyone was rocking or tapping their feet to the music. I let the music take me out on to the dance floor and did a solo uninhibited dance. I am not worried if people think I am a crazy old bloke or high on loco-weed. Musicians play better if they have an appreciative audience. I am the detonator that set others off dancing, it only takes one and others lose their self-consciousness. I do not need any stimulants other than the music, two beers is my limit. As for marijuana, one must be careful as it is sometimes mixed with other substances. You are pushing your luck if you try drugs to make you feel good. All that is needed is music a smile and good attitude.
Music is a good way to psyche you into a good mood. On a treadmill in a gym is a good cardiovascular exercise but dancing is also a great workout. I am no longer young and fit but I now realize the world is not mine to exploit. Simple pleasures are the best the higher you go the further you can fall. Sharing a meal with friends is one of the most enjoyable things you can do. Smile and be kind to others, if you are lucky the meal you share will not be your last.