The Simple Key
I am a firm believer that one of the simplest keys in life to brightening someone’s day is through a genuine smile. Lots of claims and studies have shown that smiling actually uses less muscles than frowning, so why not do it once and a while?
Growing up, I cannot remember one single time that I have been happy when going to the doctor’s office for a check up or having to go to the emergency room at the hospital. It either ended up being the gloomy nervous feeling or extreme amounts of pain. However, on most occasions there was one thing that always seemed to make me feel a little better, and that was someone smiling at me.
Of all the times I’ve been to the doctor’s office, one recent memory stands out in my mind. It was the beginning of this past summer when I began having pains on the top of my left foot. It was bothersome because I could barely run and it hurt even to walk. After a few tests and visits to the doctor’s office, I was told that I had a bone spur. There were two options; I could either receive a cortisone shot in the spur that would hopefully get rid of the pain, or I could have surgery and have the spur shaved off. Obviously I opted for the shot. Who really wants to have surgery if it’s not the only option? I had gone alone to my appointment to receive the shot, and was feeling pretty nervous about it. When the nurse walked into the room to do some paperwork before the doctor came in, the first thing she did was give me a big smile. Right away I started feeling better about the situation. It was as if she knew exactly what I was feeling. She quickly explained how the procedure was going to go and told me that I had nothing to worry about.
If that smile that the nurse shared with me that day hadn’t meant a lot to me, then I would not have told you this story. Whether she realized it or not, the nurse made an impact on me and helped me relax and feel better about getting the shot. I understand that not every single person you smile at will feel better afterward or even appreciate it, but that is all part of life. You have to be willing to take those small chances when they come about because you never know what the outcome will be. I believe that if I can brighten at least one person’s day through something as simple and easy as a smile, then taking the few seconds to do so is well worth it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.