|In extreme cases, a thumbs-up may|
be required to accompany your smile.
I am, by nature, not a 'morning person'. I adore my sleepytimes and the process of leaving my bed and
|Just thinking about the Morecambe & Wise |
breakfast sketch makes me giggle.
Long ago, I decided that the way to at least start the day in a positive mood was to find something to smile about before I entered the building. No matter what it is, to think of something I am grateful for, something that
|Thinking about antics with my friend, Sharon, |
always makes me smile.
I make an effort to wish the security guard, the lady in the canteen, my colleagues and, of course, my students a cheery good morning - partly because it seems to make them feel good, but also, (perhaps more selfishly), because I also kind of fall for it myself. I find myself
naturally beaming on the most leaden of November mornings because, ultimately, I get
that greeting reflected back at me, from colleagues, from students, from everyone, and a little morning sunshine bursts through the clouds.
There are, of course, millions of reasons to be cheerful and so many little things can make a day all the
|Even the horrors of an Ikea visit can be overcome|
with a smile (double thumbs-up may be required for
more heavy-duty purchases).
As flippant as all this may sound, I am aware that I am a very lucky individual who has so much, simply because of where I was born, who I was born to and what has happened to me in my life. There are, below, ten reasons, above all others that I should be cheerful, and thankful, every day of my life.
|My crazy family - all my cousins pictured here - and the|
fact that they embrace their daftness, make me smile.
10 reasons I have to be cheerful - every day of my life.
1. I have a safe, warm and furnished home to return to every day, unlike the 48,000 households currently classed as homeless in the UK.
2. I am lucky enough to be able to feed myself (often far more than I need), when 25,000 people a day die from starvation, worldwide, every day.
3. I have been given the opportunity to access education throughout my life, with the support of state-funded schools, my parents' encouragement and financial support and my own funds. 170 million children across the world aren't given the chance to attend school - 70% of them, girls.
4. I live in a time, and place of peace, (despite my shouty neighbours) where I am safe from the daily threat of violence and war. The ongoing war in Afghanistan and Iraq alone has cost over 330,000 lives already.
5. I am lucky enough to be free from any of the diseases that kill 300,000 people in the UK every year.
6. I currently (despite the best efforts of our current government) have access to free healthcare, ensuring that no matter what happens, I know I will be given the treatment needed to remain healthy.
7. Unlike so many prisoners of conscience all over the world, I have the freedom to express my own thoughts, opinions and ideas - including on this very blog - without fear of imprisonment, torture or a death sentence for doing so.
8. I have access to the information, services and support I need to be able to make my own decisions about if and when I have children - unlike women all over the world, where pregnancy kills one woman every minute, due to poverty, lack of education, discrimination or violence.
9. The choice about who, and if, I marry is mine, unlike the huge numbers of girls placed in arranged marriages by their parents across the world, including 27% of girls under the age of 15, in precisely that position, in Bangladesh.
10. I have a loving boyfriend, a supportive family and lots of friends who I care for greatly. Ultimately, these are the greatest gifts in the world and matter more than anything that the day could throw at me.