This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the conference and featured a guest speaker who had written a few books on the breakthroughs currently in Parkinson's disease. Did you notice that  I didn't say Parkinson's disease cures? I don't know if there ever will be a cure, at least in my lifetime, but there are many discoveries happening in this very complex disease.

I did however come through with a breakthrough of my own. You see for a while now my wife has been encouraging me to look at every day in a positive way. During my recovery from a knee replacement surgery, I encountered what fifty percent of all Parkinson's patients will encounter at some point or another: depression.

My progression of range of motion in my left knee during physical therapy started slowly. I was behind average rates of growth. My doctor had gone so far as to threaten me with additional surgery to break up the scar tissue that was hindering my progress. This was something I did not want. Shortly after this ultimatum I began to increase by five degrees on each session. Then it hit me.

This particular day I had been so excited to see my progress and when it only registered at one degree I was devastated. How could it possibly be that I only increased by this lousy one degree?  Two weeks later when I actually digressed seven degrees I was actually overjoyed. How could this be?

While listening to a good friend of mine discussing optimism and how to beat the blues, a couple thoughts came into my head. The first thought came from the ideal of optimism itself. I am currently teaching a story that is centered around the philosophical idea of optimism and I recalled that it was the best of all possible worlds. I combined that with the word smile since over and over throughout the day I was told, or rather the conference attendees were told, that smiling will make you feel better.

When I looked back at the days when I was down versus the days I was feeling good, it was because of a smile. I looked at what I did those days. I saw good things happening. Life events were filled with greatness. Then the breakthrough occurred. I need each day to smile. I need to See Majesty In Life Everyday. SMILE.

A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

-Proverbs 15:13-15