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Big-Hearted Men Make Tiny Houses for Homeless Veterans

June 20, 2017

Tonight, approximately 40,000 veterans across America will sleep in a vacant field, under a bridge, or at a homeless shelter.  They range in age from 22 to 82, soldiers who fought in wars around the world for our right to a warm and safe home.

Homeless veterans make up for nearly 10% of America’s homeless population. Most are suffering from PTSD and the related mental challenges.  Simply, their destitution is not their fault.

But three veterans from Kansas City are doing something about it. Chris Stout, Kevin Jamison, and Mark Solomon recently placed their first fellow in his own home, in a tiny house project they envisioned. Located in an abandoned park, these three men created a community of former soldiers who just wanted a comfortable place to sleep, by building them a house. This trio will oversee the construction of 50 individual houses that their brothers and sisters in war can put their head on a pillow and find peace.

This is a prime example of goodness at work. Hooray Cafe salutes these three men,
and the soldiers that will benefit from their generosity.

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Top Five Reasons That People From Denmark Are Truly So Happy

June 9, 2017

Disney World may be called the happiest place on earth, but is it?

Technically?  No.

Research has shown that the award for happiest destinations, as well as citizens, actually belongs to Denmark. You can read the full article below, by Curious Mind Magazine, to see for yourself just what makes them so different.  You will also find out what top five lifestyle habits are responsible for all of their smiles.

Here Is Why People In Denmark Are Happier Than Anyone Else In The World

 

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‘Searching for Syria’ The World is Asking and Google is Answering

May 31, 2017

Technology continues in its advances, making leaps and bounds on a daily basis–even hourly at times. As hard as it seems to keep up with the latest trends, Google has been right there, leading the pack with each one.

In fact, Google can be credited with the creation of some of these highly sought after trends, in addition to also keeping track of them. So, what are we, the people,  most curious about in the world today? At the top of Google’s trending now list, on a worldwide scale, is the following topic:

“Syria” 

In reference to Syria as the topic, there are 5 primary questions being asked by us, and they are as follows:

  1. What was Syria like before the war?
  2. What is happening in Syria?
  3. What is a refugee?
  4. Where are Syrian Refugees going?
  5. How can I help a Syrian Refugee?

The world is asking in an effort to simply try to understand the magnitude of the ‘Syrian Crisis’.  At six years and 48 days into the conflict, the once flourishing and historically rich country of Syria has reached a level of devastation nearly impossible to even put into words. However, Google has done just that in their response to the Syrian refugee crisis, with their new site, ‘Searching for Syria’.

In order to create this interactive site, Google, along with the U.N. Refugee Agency, utilized facts, figures, videos, testimonies, and imagery to assist us fully grasping what’s really happening in Syria, showing us what most minds just cannot wrap around.

What is seen is the very definition of heartbreaking. Conflicts have reached levels of such severity that it seems there is no end in sight. Solutions are quickly dwindling, right along with each house, hospital, and family, leaving many to wonder if they will ever return to their homes. Many bordering countries are now realizing the negative impact that such a high and quick influx in population has had. There simply are not enough resources available to accommodate refugees on this large of a scale.

Originally thought to be a temporary solution until conflicts resolved,  relocation may very well be the permanent solution, one that will require assistance by many to ensure the people of Syria find a place to call home.

For information on how you can help in this cause, visit Google’s Searching for Syria for details.

 

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This MP3 Player is Educating Women and Uniting Communities in Africa

May 28, 2017

Bearing a very fitting name, the MP3forLife player holds the answers to over 400 health questions and concerns. This information will assist in educating the illiterate women in rural East Africa.

The solar-powered device was created by a German non-profit enterpirse, URIDU, as well as Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Just a few of the topics covered are health, nutrition, family planning, child care and work safety.

Even better,  these educational tools were also designed to assist in uniting and bringing communities together all in the name of #GoodnessSake.  When asked about the project, founder Felicitas Heynem, had this to say:

“We conceived the MP3forLife Player for small group listening – it fosters discussion, exchange and group building,”

This concept seems simple enough to those of us that have become so accustomed to living in our overly saturated, technology era. However, the process of making one of these life-changing devices is anything but.

The MP3forLife project actually required a little more than 10,000 volunteers, from 100 various countries, in order to translate the material. Once translated, it was then recorded by a native speaker of that particular language. Felicitas Heyne then went on to deliver these powerful and inspirational words, in regard to the women that would be receiving these devices.  –

“We want to provide basic knowledge to illiterate rural women, but we also want to create a team spirit among them. They are key to positive change in their countries. Wherever women are empowered, a favorable spiral is set in motion. Health and education improve, populations stabilize, economies grow,” said Heyne.

The MP3 players are distributed free of any cost to those in need, with the help of human assistance organizations in Tanzania. This is not only a  life changer but also something that could change the world, as we know it, as well. An invention that will bring unity amongst us all, world-wide, more than ever before.

If you would like to read more about this amazing project or find out how you can help please visit URIDU’s direct site for all the details.

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Getting to the Heart of It: A Primer on Doing Right and Good

May 27, 2017

“It’s the hunger to write a new story that drives them to overcome their limited circumstances,” writes Carmine Gallo in his book, “The Storyteller’s Secret.” As I read this sentence—about how individuals change for the better and achieve greatness in their lives—I realized it had broader implications: It’s the hunger to write a new story that drives us to overcome our limiting circumstances.

“The Storyteller’s Secret” is about people who are making the world a better place through meaningful work and inspiring speeches. These folks have one thing in common: They lead with, come from, and give of their heart. And so do you, when you do. And so do we, when we do.

Meaningful positive change takes root only in the heart. Harmful change is driven by something outside the heart. If you closely examine significant pivot points in your life—when things went from bad to good or good to great—you will find that the shift started in your heart. When closely studied, it is apparent the same thing applies for us as a community, be it a small town, state, country, or world. Simply, positive change starts in hearts.

American independence was not born of the brain. It was hatched from a deep-rooted desire for life free of royal encumbrance. Slavery ultimately was not abolished for economic reasons. It was because we knew in our heart that it was not right to condemn and control others based on skin color; and we now know the same of other injustices such as those wrought by religious or ethnic differences. Women did not earn the right to vote through a series of academic papers that swayed public opinion. It was because a small—then a large—group of people illustrated that fairness emanates from the heart. And laws against abusive child labor practices were put into place and continue to be enforced because we ache when innocent kids are mistreated. These and so many other positive changes illustrate that we instinctively know what is right.

The categorical imperative, an idea posited by 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant, essentially states that “right” really does not need to be defined. Knowing what is “right” is as much a natural part of us as breathing. This knowing of right comes from our heart, not our head. It is a common and shared understanding that we humans have, and cannot ignore. It can only be shrouded by ego, greed, excluding ideologies, or hate.

Right lives in a narrow center of the spectrum of choices we make, but should always be where we turn to make good decisions. Outside of this narrow band, unconsciousness, fear, dogma, or apathy form culturally and individually harmful pulls. Decisions made outside this center lead to troubling acts. We know this because these actions often require us to irrationally justify or apologize for unjust behavior, individually or as a society. Think the “reservationing” of Native Americans, polluting of Erie Canal, and drugging and incarcerating of mentally ill.

When we examine true right—and its offspring of healthy and helpful actions—we intuitively know it is from the heart. It is our responsibility—and a perpetually beautiful opportunity—to listen to and heed this imperative. It is an obligation to not give attention to deceptive inner voices or those who seek to grow discord by manufacturing things outside the band of right, things powered by ego, greed, or capitalizing on fear.

The merchants of the economics of fear want us to follow them without us listening to our hearts. Let’s not do this anymore. Let’s listen to our hearts in order to end this practice, this administration of angst and anguish. Let’s honor our instinct and disallow a body politic bent on promoting and exploiting fear. History bears out the weakness of these approaches, as evidenced by the end of slavery and abusive child labor practices, and our growing recognition of the right to freedom for all. Over time, those who have bought from the merchants of fear see how much better it is to return their purchases, as these “goods” ultimately limit growth and happiness.

Let’s have trust and kindness and generosity and compassion guide and help us all. Let’s overcome limiting circumstances. Let’s lead with, come from, and give of our hearts. Let’s write a new story.

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In the Face of Tragedy, Look For the Helpers #RoomForManchester

May 23, 2017

As many already know, tragedy struck England last night as an Ariana Grande concert was finishing up. Fans of her music quickly found themselves victims of the most recent terrorist attack. Chaos ensued.

As most media outlets are focusing on the death tally, details of the attack, and who is responsible, we here at Hooray Cafe, would like to take a different approach. We would like to shift our energy and focus to the strong-willed and kind-hearted community of Manchester.

Following the explosion, the hashtag #RoomForManchester quickly started circulating across social media platforms, and not long after had gone viral. It was created as a means to notify those in need that they had a room available to take anybody in, offering a bed,  a couch, phone chargers and even the comfort of a cup of tea.

Businesses began taking in anybody that they could and also assisted in getting triage stations set up for emergency personnel as they arrived. Taxis immediately shut off their fare signs to begin shuttling those in and near the arena to a safer location.

Without hesitation, the community of Manchester stopped, took a deep breath, and became the helpers that they all desperately needed in that moment. Below are some tweets showing just how many were ready, willing and able to help in any way possible.

Anyone needing a lift/place to stay from the Manchester Arena, tweet Retweet and get this trending to help.

If you need a bed, a cup of tea, a charged phone etc. – I’m 15 mins from Manchester Arena. DM me, they’re open!

we have a spare double bed and two sofas available if anybody needs a place tonight. Salford area, 5 min taxi from arena

Steven Bartlett

Anyone needing somewhere to stay can come to our Manchester headquarters in the city centre.
127 Portland St M1 4PZ

Although it took a tragedy to cause such an outpour of unity and sense of community, we can choose to focus on the good. We always have the right to choose, and we say what perspective we are going to allow to run our minds, or day, and our efforts.We know that emotions of anger, fear, and negativity are what drove this senseless act. But, we also know that it was kindness, acceptance, and love that reacted to it.

When faced with a tragedy, particularly one that is carried out solely in the name of causing fear, look away. Do not look at the terror that is being caused. Shift your energy and focus away from those seeking it, and look for the helpers that have shown up instead; those that are not there to spread fear, but rather bring peace and reassurance, each one washing out the evil, and becoming a representation of compassion. This is proof there is still good in this world, and it comes to us amongst the helpers.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. — Mister Rogers (Fred Rogers)

Our thoughts and many condolences go out to those impacted by such a violent and tragic event. Hooray Cafe is standing with you Manchester, and we know that through this, you will rise above and become an even stronger community than before.

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This Teacher Goes Above and Beyond Her Call of Duty

May 23, 2017

It just takes one person to change another’s life. Be that person. The one willing to defend another from being bullied. The person that gives a compliment to a stranger, because they seemed sad. Be the one that is brave enough to go against the grain, standing up for what is right.

For Ana Barbara Ferreira, a teacher in São Paulo, Brazil, she decided to be that one for one of her students. One morning, Ana noticed that one of them was being bullied and mocked by a peer, because of how her hair looked. Later that day, Ana Barbara Ferreira posted the following on Facebook in regards to the incident:

“Yesterday, my student told me there was a boy saying that her hair was ugly. She was very sad,” Ana wrote on her Facebook page. “At that moment, the only thing I could tell her was that she was wonderful and shouldn’t care about what he was saying.”

She was able to offer her student some sound advice, such as another’s opinion of us truly does not matter.  To Ana, that just wasn’t enough though, she felt compelled to do more,  which is precisely what she did.

The next morning, before returning to school, Ana styled her hair just like the student that was being mocked the day before. As soon as she laid eyes on her teacher, and her new hairdo, her world simply lit up!

“When she saw me, she came running to hug me and say that I was beautiful,” wrote Ana. “I told her, ‘today I’m beautiful, like you!’”

It’s amazing how we tend to overlook our own beauty, only to then see it for ourselves, when it is shown in the image of someone that we admire.  Equally amazing is just how valuable these ‘little things’ truly are in the end.

It’s a hairstyle, yes, but to her student, it meant so much more.  It became a representation of her own beauty. It became validation, that there was somebody listening to her when she voiced her concerns. It signified the fact that she had somebody to be that one, for her.

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A Fully Deserving Recipient of Our Goodness’ Sake Project “You Matter Magnet”

May 22, 2017

As our Goodness’ Sake Project begins to take form, the time has finally arrived that I have been waiting for – putting it into action! The awesome moment of being able to thank profound members within our community is upon us, and I could not be happier!

In addition to our “Do Good Now” Cards, we have also implemented another fun way to make someone’s day, with a more anonymous option of saying “thanks.”

For a ‘sentiment that sticks’ we have launched “You Matter” Magnets, which are a great way of telling a deserving recipient that their kindness has not gone unnoticed. We offer this program to show those giving community members that you in fact do matter, both to us personally, and your community. These magnets get surreptitiously placed on car doors, computers, or refrigerators of generous people.

For our first recipient, we chose a wonderful man and neighbor, Ron Hager. Having had the pleasure of being Ron’s neighbor for roughly six years, he has been nothing but kind and generous to both me as well as my daughter Jazmyne.

Shortly after moving in next door to him, we discovered that Ron and his lovely wife Gina were Foster Parents to kids here in our community, as well as our neighboring community about 15 miles away. Honestly, these two could not be a better fit home for these little ones struggling to find their footing, while things get resolved at home with their biological families.

They are a perfect representation, of what all foster care homes and parents should be a reflection of. They are both such a benefit to this program in every way.

We have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing kids that have stayed with Ron over the years. In that time he has done nothing but provide a stable, happy, comfortable and loving environment for each and every one of them. Each child has been respectful, kind and always a good friend to my daughter.

Ron has also always gone above and beyond to include Jazmyne in his group activities with his kids. Ron does it all, from taking them to the Dollar Store, swimming at the local Aquatic Center and just having good old-fashioned fun at his house with sprinklers and a pool party.

The kids are never bored, and he always makes it a point to include everyone, equally.

He does not tolerate rude behavior or bullying, and resolve any issues of the sort immediately. He teaches the kids to talk it out, and work through their issues, being mindful of their social development, while demonstrating so much patience.

Some kids stay for short periods of time, others quite a bit longer. Some even leave and come back when they need to. Regardless of all these factors, he is still able to somehow provide each and every one of them with their own individual attention, and is equally involved in each of their day-to-day lives.

Ron truly cares for every one of his kids, and you can tell without a doubt, simply by witnessing just one interaction among them. From morning snacks and laughs at the bus stop, to school recitals, you can always count on seeing him there. He is always smiling, positive about the day, and offering encouragement and support, to not only his kids, but mine and others as well.

Just recently, after returning home from my daughter’s karate class, my Dad informed me that the ambulance had just left Ron’s house. He was unable to see who they took in the back, however, I knew it had to be one of the kids, as Ron’s vehicle was gone and Gina was quickly leaving as we pulled in.

Currently Ron and Gina are caring for two children that are under the age of two, another that is almost three years-old, a seven year-old and a nine year-old. Needless to say, their hands are full.

As a mother, I instantly had that sinking feeling in my stomach, not knowing what had happened, and to which child. What I did know, is that it had to have been serious. We live approximately five minutes away from the hospital, so for them to have dispatched an ambulance was very worrisome.

Tempted to call him, I held off, as I’m sure he had enough to deal with in that moment already. Instead, I kept looking outside in hopes that one of their vehicles would return, and hopefully, sooner than later.

They did arrive back home, sometime between 1:30 am or so, when I fell asleep, and 5:30 am when the kids woke up for school.

As soon as Jazmyne opened her eyes, the first thing she did was peak out the window, to see if they had made it back. I could see a sense of relief on her face that they were at least all home, as far as we knew.

When we headed to the bus stop we noticed Ron’s seven and nine year-old walking, which was not normal, unless Ron was gone. Now, I was again beginning to worry.

Was Ron still at the hospital with one of the younger kids? Was it Ron that was taken by ambulance? Again, I just didn’t know. However, I also knew that in a matter of thirty seconds, Jazmyne, my reporter in the making, was going to find out.

It was discovered that the second to the youngest had completely stopped breathing, and needed to have emergency surgery to correct the problem. Thankfully, due to being in a nurturing and aware environment, she will make a full recovery.

All I kept thinking to myself, as I heard my eight year-old spout out the information she had just gotten from her friends, was how incredibly scary and horrifying that must have been. This is every parent’s worst nightmare and one of our biggest fears, from the moment we become their little keepers.

I then realized that this man and his wife chose to do what others won’t, even when the responsibility falls in their court. They have chosen sleepless nights, sick babies, endless appointments, birthday parties and even terrifying ambulance rides.

The life that they have chosen is not to benefit themselves, but rather because they know in their hearts that these children, and so many others, need them. They have made the decision to risk going through the worst in order to give these children the best, and they continue to do it over and over again.

I have never once heard Ron complain about a child, their behavior, how tired he is, or how thin he is spread. Not once!

So, today, I would like to give a special thanks to Ron Hager, and all the other foster parents out there like him, that are in it for all of the right reasons…the kids. I think that the genuine heart of Ron can be summarized perfectly by one of his own Facebook quotes he recently posted:

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world will be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”

The world will definitely be a better place because of you, Ron! All of the good that you have done will live on in the lives of the children that you have saved.

You are truly an inspiration, a wonderful person to know and very deserving of all the good that is coming your way. Today, we salute you, for Goodness’ Sake!

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The Science Behind the World’s Most Powerful Gesture, the Smile.

May 18, 2017

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.Mother Teresa

So, what’s in a smile?

A smile is the world’s most powerful gesture, and considering how many gestures there are, that speaks volumes! A smile is a universal indicator that happiness is among us, and the spirit of joy is present.

With all of the division among humanity, derived from strategically placed fear, angst and worry, we find ourselves becoming paralyzed by it, becoming weighted down while trying to navigate to higher ground. It can be like quicksand, pulling us deeper the more we fight against it.

It becomes hard to see past it all and realize that good still exists in this world. A smile reminds us that it’s there, and is still alive in our spirits. It is a reflection reminding us of what life is all about, the simple things. It’s about learning to see the beauty in simplicity and being grateful for all that we do have. It’s about doing good, lifting our fellow men and women, and raising their spirits above the quicksand. Once you find this beauty, smile, and hang onto it as tightly as you can.

A smile is what is keeping us all going, even if we ourselves are not aware of it. At one time or another, a smile has assisted in propelling us into a better state of mind. Once there, we are able to then share this beauty and simple appreciation with our fellow neighbors. A positive state of mind allows one the ability to see the world in a different light, with a positive outlook that allows us to shine that light where the darkness continues to dwell.

According to a Women’s Health Article from 2014, studies show that even a smile lasting just four hundredths of a second (referred to as subliminal priming) can produce a mini-emotional high. This, in turn, causes things to immediately become more positive. It helps assist in turning what was once boring into something entertaining. Even food tastes better when it is served to us with a smile.

No matter the differences we may have, whether it be our backgrounds, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or race, we can all universally agree that a smile symbolizes joy, laughter, contentment and love, for the most part. However, like most things, there is an exception to this rule.

Tough Guys Smile Too 

Sadly, we must come to terms with the fact that what should be considered positive can also be antagonistic, such as a bully that smiles or laughs at the anguish they have caused their victim. A smile can also be the result of a nervous habit that the individual may or may not even acknowledge they’re doing. This can happen when their current surroundings trigger the memory of a past negative experience, often a memory they have no recollection of.

In addition, high levels of testosterone can cause some men to laugh or scoff when faced with danger or while in distress. This is their body’s way of reacting to fear, and in turn, their way of showing that they are not afraid. This is potentially why women smile more than men and are more likely to return a smile, especially to that of a man. So, in some instances, the level of joy and happiness that is represented in a smile, can also take the form of being tough, but it’s not as common by any means.

What Came First? The Smile or The Joy?

Now, it’s hard to say which came first, the smile or happiness that it yields. Considering a smile causes happiness, and the feeling of being happy causes us to smile, it can be tough to trace. Whether or not this really matters is also up in the air. If it isn’t broke, why bother to fix it. The results, regardless of which one caused the other, is being happy, so why disturb that?

Smiles are also very contagious, as I am sure all of us have experienced, right along with the yawn from our co-worker that didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Both of which are triggered by our minds ability to mirror, or emulate the emotions and responses around us, which will be covered in more detail a bit further down.

Not only are they contagious, they also increase the serotonin levels for both the giver and receiver as this article by Dr. Oz explains. Studies have shown that a straight and white smile signals others to believe that the one smiling is healthy, smart, financially secure and youthful! Wow!

It’s no wonder that having a straight and white smile has also been linked to building up one’s self-esteem, allowing them to feel more confident about themselves.

Real or Fake? –

Aside from the obvious fact that pretty white smiles are aesthetically pleasing, we have also learned that all smiles trigger something deep within our subconscious. When an individual flashes a smile at a lucky recipient, it immediately triggers the response that we already know that person. A smile brings out a sense of familiarity among two parties, complete strangers, causing the deep seeded desire and humanistic need to bond with another person. We need each other, seek each other and this proves it.

Smiling and its effects on society are so valuable and important to us that we are actually programmed to determine whether or not a smile is genuine or one they’ve adapted due to society standards. Simply put, fake.

As mentioned in an Article written by Leo Widrich, there are three stages that our brain activates to determine the validity of one’s smile. The really cool part is all of this happens without our knowledge and within a matter of seconds. How awesome is that? The steps are as follows:

1) Our brain quickly calculates and mentally compares the geometry of the individual smiling and that of a standard face. This is done to determine if our ‘obicularis oculi’ muscle is being used, which is the muscle at the base of your eye socket and is only triggered in the instance that a smile is genuine and not forced.

It is also referred to as the ‘Genuine Smile Muscle’ and it’s pretty clear why when you take a look at the image below. (A) is a forced/fake smile, whereas, (B) is a genuine smile, as you can see it in his eyes.

Hence, the expression that we have all heard I’m sure, that true happiness can be seen in our eyes.

2) After we gauge which muscles are being used to create the smile, we then think about the current situation and surroundings. We do this to judge for ourselves whether or not a smile is expected and also appropriate.

3) Last, but certainly not least, we utilize our mirroring neurons (which are neurons that fire when we not only see an action done but also when we complete the same action) to automatically mimic the smile presented. We use this to gauge and feel for ourselves whether it’s coming from a genuine or false source.

So, are you being gauged as someone that graces us all with a genuine smile, or one that has adopted a socially acceptable grin? One that you utilize out of habit as opposed to happiness? If you have fallen victim to the later, have no fear, help to get back your genuine smile is here!

Below are three steps that you can take to gain back that heartfelt, childlike grin; reflecting a sparkle of happiness within your eyes. Master this, use it often, and you will be given so much more to smile about. This is also one of the first steps in learning to lead a happier lifestyle.

1) Imagine and focus on a real life situation – One that you have experienced personally, that made you smile, or extremely happy. Doing this alone right before a big event, meeting, making a phone call or even just sending an email will create a more positive environment.

Regardless of how, or with who you interact with, they will be able to sense that smile, even if they can’t see you. In turn, they will respond more receptively and positively to you, and in a more timely manner. With the two of you flowing, right along with the positive vibes and smiles, it’s a great way to conduct business or start your day.

2) Practice smiling in front of a mirror – In the morning while getting ready, practice smiling in the mirror. Be sure to try to activate your mouth corners, as well as your eye sockets. You will know when you have mastered the genuine smile when you start to feel more at ease and a sense of happiness come over you. Smiling, even when it’s being done for practice, can immediately invoke positive emotions.

3) Become comfortable with smiling – This step really boils down to a different way of thinking, however, for some, this is the most important step in not only genuinely smiling, but also leading a happier life. Practice often at home, and also wherever you go. When you are not around others, simply imagine yourself smiling at everyone and everything you can think of. This will get your mind to trigger more positive thoughts, making it easier to smile, building your confidence.

Oh, to be a kid again….

How many times have you played with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews etc..and noticed, or stated, that in doing so, it ‘brought the kid out in you?’

There is actually a scientific explanation for this as well, other than the fact that blowing bubbles and playing dress up is pretty fun. It has been determined that simply seeing a smile can reduce stress in the body and mind, that which is equivalent to getting the best night’s rest that you can remember. The more smiles we see, the more we create positive thoughts and emotions, which in turn, create positive situations.

Positive situations lead to the creation of smiles, which create more positive thoughts and emotions. It becomes a full cycle that truly sets the stage for the type of lifestyle you’d like to live. Children can help us fast track this lifestyle, and lead a happy carefree life themselves, based on how much they smile. The average child smiles approximately 400 times within a day.

The average happy adult smiles about 40-50 times in a day, and the standard adult sits in at just about 20 times a day. So, the next time you are feeling down, hang out with some kids, they will fix you right up.

Who Cares?

So, now that we have determined all of the amazing ways that giving, and receiving, a simple smile can impact us physically and mentally, we must now answer the following:

Why does any of this matter to me?”

The answer here is a simple one. It matters to everyone that reads this article, because it will change your life, or somebody that you love, guaranteed. We have become overwhelmed with what mainstream media wants us to focus on, by blasting it from every source possible.

Funny, but war, poverty, politics and tragedy just aren’t topics that generate a whole lot of smiles or positive vibes. This shift in energy and our happiness is definitely being felt on a large scale. Without question, society as a whole is losing that ‘twinkle in their eye’ as our levels of joy continue to decline.

Doing good, feels good, it’s as simple as that.  Smiling in itself is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and others, at the same time. It reduces stress, creates positive thoughts and feelings, allows more creativity to flow and opens the doors for you to live a better life.

Who would have ever thought that all that was possible through the simple, yet very complicated, act in smiling?

Whatever you do today, first, make sure that you like and share this piece of course, and also share a smile too! It truly will change your life and that of somebody else. If for no other reason, do it for Goodness’ Sake!

Hollie ‘Day’ Jenkins
May 16, 2017
Hooray Cafe 

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The Day That Music Changed Forever As We Know It

May 18, 2017

On this day in history, music forever changed. Not once, not twice, but several times, involving some very reputable and unforgettable musical legends.

Spanning over a time frame of just four years, monumental milestones in the music industry propelled artists directly into the Hall of Fame and history alike. These moments and movements will be forever etched into the carefree hearts of those that had the pleasure of experiencing the 60’s.

We begin in 1963 when the first Monterey Folk Festival, in Monterey, California was held. It lasted three days and included performances by well-known artists such as Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, and Joan Baez. This year also marked the year that Janis Joplin made her first major stage appearance.

The Monterey Folk Festival later transformed itself in 1967 to the Monterey Pop Festival. Upon the debut of a new name, as well as genre, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Ravi-Shankar also made their first major U.S. debuts on this stage.  Otis Redding also performed during this festival, in front of a predominately white audience for the first time. Considering he is still a legend of his time and beyond, I’d say he did just fine.

Wanting More Good News From May 18? You got it!

  • 1792: The New York Stock Exchange is formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.

  • 1875: An American Thoroughbred racehorse named Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.

  • 1939: The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the United States’ first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.

  • 1990: The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.
  • 2004: The first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. are performed in the state of Massachusetts.