According to my ancient Websters dictionary; A smile is defined as a change of facial expression involving the eyes and an upward curving of the corners of the mouth that may express amusement, pleasure, affection or irony.
That sounds a tad bit antiseptic. It doesn’t define the human element of a smile and the power that a smile has.
I believe that smiles are magical and slam dunk contagious. A warm smile has the potential to melt the coldest of the cold. If it is honest and heartfelt, one simple smile can mean so much to the receiver of such a gift. A smile can convey sympathy and friendship. It can say “I understand” or “you are not alone”.
The Smile Factor
Smiles unite us. They break down language and cultural barriers. They are a basic part of our humanity. We are born with that smile factor; that need for a smile because acknowledge it or not, we all need them.
It can be easy to forget the power of a smile. A sadness or anger can set in to a person that will cause them to never smile again. Their face balling up into a permanent scowl. This scowl may remove the possibility that anyone will ever smile at them again. I think that sometimes people don’t realize the effect that we humans have on each other.
We are all connected and we affect each other more than we realize. One person’s bad day an easily become the next person’s.
Bad days are contagious too.
I have started to think about this of late. It seems some people save up their misdirected anger for someone “easier” who cannot retaliate. “The customer is always right” is their motto above all else, even human dignity. I have witnessed some rather awful behavior by some “right” customers. Rarely do I witness the opposite.
Making a difference
I am but one person, but I believe that even one person can make a difference in the life of another. So I am making it my habit to spread some good cheer around wherever I go. This is not always easy and I am not perfect, but I have found that putting aside my feelings a bit to sympathize with someone, pay a deserved complement or just a simple smile can have rewards in themselves that reach far beyond the here and now.
It’s easy and it spreads like wildfire. Try it. Smile at a complete stranger if for no other reason that to just do it. Watch the reaction you get. A smile truly is a gift that keeps on giving.