When I wake up early enough that the world is still asleep, the crescent moon shining always reminds of the Cheshire Cat smiling from Alice in Wonderland. It always captures my eyes out of all the beautiful stars in the sky. The wonderful thing about a smile is that it’s completely free. It’s one of the most beautiful feeling and expression we can give. If you are having a bad day, a smile from a stranger may show more words of comfort than a hug. After moving to the city from a small town, I couldn’t help notice how much people smile less in the city. Whether it was an elevator ride, standing in the train or walking on the streets. A sense of disconnection. It may be part of the small town friendliness where you know every second person you see, but there was a sense of connection in doing so. A smile really connects us to others. It can give a sense of easiness, relaxation, comfort and warmth. It gives hope to others and loosens emotional pain.
A genuine smile makes the face change and the eyes shine. It makes you engage, feel confident and trust the person. Then, there is a smile that hides behind, hiding secrets untold. Telling the world they’re happy, when they’re really hurting inside. Or a smile that feels forced and unexpressed. A polite smile or one of embarrassment. Smiling is an expression that speaks a thousand words. The eyes are the windows to our soul. Can you sense a cloudy eye of disinterest or eyes that wrinkle and shine with joy? There is something about one’s eyes when we smile that speak so much. A smile is a handshake that is always remembered. It makes a wonderful first impression.
Smiling is contagious. Just as laughing causes a stir of laughter among friends, smiling works the same among most of us. Whether it’s the stranger that opens the door for you, the barista at the cafe or the co-worker having a bad day. A smile can truly brighten someone’s day. When we see someone in pain or hurt for a long time, to see them smile can really touch the heart. A sign of hope, faith and reassurance. A sign that everything is going to be okay. A universal language that unites us. Remember when we were a child, we smiled all the time, laughed all the time and had no worries in the world. Yet, somehow being an adult caused us to smile less, laugh less and worry more. It’s always a strong reminder to remember that there is always something to smile about, no matter what we are going through. Even kids understand that – they appreciate and enjoy the smallest things.
“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin