There is no prize for being the most cynical person in the room.
No one is going to celebrate us because of our unhappiness, especially when it is self-imposed.
People do not think more highly of us when we play the victim, complain, or criticize others over and over again.
We will not be remembered fondly for adding more negativity to the world.
But, it is so easy to do.
Optimism takes effort.
Happiness is a choice.
Kindness, graciousness, and generosity are decisions we must make every day if we want them to become habits, if we want them to transform us into something better.
It is still unlikely that we will get a prize for being optimistic.
We may still go entirely uncelebrated throughout our lives, even in our happiness, especially when it is self-generated.
People may not think more highly of us when we are forgiving, complimentary, or compassionate, over and over again.
This is not why we should do or be these things, however.
We should do better and be better because it makes us feel better.
That others will necessarily benefit from it, even if we get no credit, recognition, or appreciation for it, is merely a byproduct of our efforts.
Our lives are worthy of being good because, even in our flaws, failings, and fragility, we are worthy of having good lives.
That is reason enough to smile.