6ays to be Happy (ASL Poem)

General information: You may share this video on social media and websites. Watch in high definition. Captions not provided, but read below for keywords and synopsis. The purpose of the synopsis is to provide a basic summary of the poem.

Image description: A white young man is standing in front of a orangish/whitish wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt, grey-ish pants, and a brown belt. He is signing “HUG.”

Purpose: I created this poem to change a negative mindset. I also wanted to demonstrate various ASL wordplay and poetic features.

About the title: The title “6ays to be Happy” is an ASL wordplay where 6 is the same as the ASL sign for the letter “W” to mean “6 Ways to be Happy.”

Keywords: sad, happy, frown, smile, cry, you must learn to change your mindset, hate, light, mining, diamond, broken heart, kaleidoscope, rain, rainbow, oyster, pearl, poem

Synopsis: In the opening, the speaker humorously lists three foiled attempts to make someone happy. First, the speaker literally bangs his/her hand on the other person’s chest to make the ASL sign for “happy.” Second, the speaker extends two poles to the corners of someone’s lips to make a smile. Third, the speaker blows the falling teardrops back in the person’s eyes. Then, the poem lists six ways to change one’s mindset. First, the speaker presents the ASL sign for “hate” as “light” shining on the one so hated. Second, the speaker presents the ASL sign for “being scarred” as literally mining in one’s mind, revealing an inner diamond and ending with a proclamation: “Thank you all! I never knew this was mine!” Third, the speaker gathers the glass shards of a broken heart into a colorful kaleidoscope. Fourth, the speaker recognizes a rainstorm and exhorts someone to go out with a raincoat to find a “rain bow”. For the fifth and sixth examples, the oyster wraps a sandy irritant into a pearl as someone wraps an inner pain into a poem that says “You must learn to change your mindset.”

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