I believe in the power of a smile.
To smile is “to assume a facial expression indicating pleasure, favor, or amusement, but sometimes derision or scorn, characterized by an upturning of the corners of the mouth, to regard with favor” (dictionary.com). A smile is an act never to be wasted. I’ve had bad days, stressful bad days, and without realizing it the simplest thing will happen and cause me to smile. Suddenly I feel better; the weight of the world is not compatible with the power of a smile.
It has happened more then once while out shopping, or at a restaurant, anywhere I may come into contact with another person. This stranger, who I will only spend a few minutes or even seconds of my life around, is telling me so much about their day, simply by their facial expressions. I recognize the expressions and come to the conclusion the person is having a terrible day and would rather be anywhere else then where they are at that very second. I myself have experienced those bad days and on top of that having to interact with people who are not friendly and demand nothing less then perfection is never a good combination. Just as the encounter between the stranger and me is about to end, I send them a big genuine smile and give the bid of having a nice day. Right before my eyes the person who not 2 seconds ago was mad at the world has transformed into someone new. My stranger with the frowning face now has a big smile and gives a silent sigh of gratitude.
The power of a smile is just as strong even when the purpose is not to cheer someone up. If you have had the joy of having a baby around, then you know exactly what I am talking about. You’re down at their level making silly noises and playing goofy games all in hopes to make the baby smile. There is no success in your attempt to play with the child until you have reached the goal you originally set out for. Once the baby’s eyes light up and the toothless smile is upon you, do you feel the sense of accomplishment, and wouldn’t you know the muscles around your mouth have tightened. And it has happened, a smile has comes across your face.
My boyfriend was sick with the flu. It was a really bad case that year. I brought him flowers and medicine and greeted him with the biggest smile. I remember him looking up at me, sick as a dog, but so happy I had arrived too simply share some cheer. I sat next to him for a short time making him laugh—actually it was more of a manly giggle then it was a laugh, either way he told me just seeing my smile made him feel better. Granted I’m his girlfriend, but go up to any person who is under the weather with a big smile of your own and attest to the fact that laughter, or in this case smiling, is the best medicine.
Any person would rather be greeted by someone who is smiling rather then a person who has a frown on their face. A smile is a way to say something when words are not enough, to express an emotion when the atmosphere calls for no spoken words. I make an effort everyday to greet people with a smile. I make an even bigger conscience attempt to smile for my own benefit. The power of a smile is one of the most influential actions any person big or small can achieve.
I have thought about the power of a smile more then once. I wonder how many people it has affected without my knowledge, even more I wonder how many people know their smile has affected me. My memories of bad, stressful, overwhelming and even sad days are always followed by memories of someone sending me a smile just to cheer me up. Words can be overrated, actions can be uncomfortable but a smile, a smile is simple.
So the next time you are out and you happen to be the stranger with the frowning face I’ll be sure to send a smile your way.
I believe in the power of a smile.