When asked, “What’s wrong with the world?” G.K. Chesterton famously replied simply, “I am.” We want to be happy and yet often seem to be the source of our own unhappiness, and usually contributing to the unhappiness of others.

How many coppers do you know whose faces are in constant frown?  Who wants to work with anyone who rarely smiles?  Do we realize what we must look like to others?   Is anger the reason we don’t smile, or fear that we’ll come across as soft?  Don’t believe me?  Just look around your roll call room.   I remember regularly seeing a lot of unhappy faces in those rooms.

Smiles are a most important form of nonverbal communication. They express warmth and familiarity; signal approachability, honesty, cooperation, and pleasure.  Cops are trained to observe non-verbal behavior of others and sometimes forget that others observe us.  Don’t we avoid miserable peers?  We even give them nicknames.

Do you make an effort to smile?  I hope so.  Did you know that smiling affects your body?  Most people would agree you’re better looking when you smile!  When you smile people treat you differently.  We are drawn to people who smile. Perhaps we want to figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces push people away; smiles draw them in.

By simply smiling, you can be viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. In today’s culture, what cop doesn’t want to be viewed as attractive and reliable?  It may even be a factor in increasing officer safety.


A study published in the journal Neuropsychology reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbital frontal cortex, the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.  Don’t believe me? Imagine you are in a coffee shop and see someone smiling at you – particularly if it is someone of the opposite sex?  Don’t you feel good, Don’t you quickly straighten your posture?.. walk a bit taller?

We need more happy cops. In today’s society, happiness is a serious problem! It is also the title of a good book written by Dennis Prager.  The books thesis: Happiness is a moral obligation because happy people tend to make the world a better place and the unhappy tend to make the world worse.   When you ask people about their most cherished values, “happiness” is always at the top of the list. In this enduring happiness manifesto, Prager examines how happiness not only makes us better people, but has an effect on the lives of everyone around us—providing them with a positive environment in which to thrive and be happy themselves.


Achieving that happiness won’t be easy, though: to Prager, it requires a continuing process of counting your blessings and giving up any expectations that life is supposed to be wonderful. “Can we decide to be satisfied with what we have?” he asks. “A poor man who can make himself satisfied with his portion will be happier than a wealthy man who does not allow himself to be satisfied.”

Prager echoes other political commentators in complaining that too many people today see themselves as victims; he submits that the only way to achieve your desires is to take responsibility for your life rather than blaming others.

If you’re willing to put some thought into achieving a happier outlook, you will find plenty to mull over in Happiness Is a Serious Problem.  I know many in law enforcement who chase the “keeping up with the Jones’ lifestyle” only to realize later that it is the root of their unhappiness.

Finding happiness and fulfillment in life and in a career like Law Enforcement is a long and on-going examination.  For all the evil we see and store in our mind, we must sweep clean our mental hard drives with laughter and smiles. Begin the daily journey of re-discovering the value of smiling!

Cops love Free Stuff.  Inform someone the FREE health benefits of smiling listed below:

– It is Contagious – Produces Empathy
– It reduces Stress – Changes your Mood

– It increases Productivity – Kills Pain
– It increases Attention – Encourages Trust



You’re actually better looking when you smile – and I’m not just trying to butter you up. When you smile, people treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.

A study published in the journal of Neuropsychology reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.

I am confident that gracing your face with a grin can seriously change your internal and external experience. Your smile is something that should be worn daily, so make it a priority to surround yourself with people, places and things that brighten your day.

Vow to be the positive, happy person at work and amongst your friends. Watch funny movies often and be sure to look people in the eye and show them your pearly whites. The world is simply a better place when you smile.

See everything, Ignore much, Improve a little.

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.



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