I genuinely enjoy smiling. It is one of the few free pleasures in life, that does just that – it brings you pleasure. But even better – not just to yourself, but the lucky recipients of your smile too. We can all contribute to starting a Smileathon.
Look, even if your smile is not the best and your teeth in urgent need of dental work, few people can resist a genuine smile. You know those – the ones that reach your eyes and make the sides crinkle. And a honest-to-goodness twinkle shine forth. It is so easy to go through life with one’s head down, missioning on, on your own little mission. With your eye only on what you have to do, where you have to go, what you have to achieve.
And I get that – though perhaps for them, you sav
e your special love-filled smile. It’s only fair.
But for strangers? Well, I think it’s pretty friggin awesome to smile at them too. For them, you reserve your “look-how-friendly-I-am smile”. As well as your “isn’t-today-a-beautiful-day smile”. And let’s not forget your “hey-isn’t-it-awesome-to-smile-at-random-strangers-and-give-them-faith-in-the-goodness-of-people-which-automatically-lifts-their-spirits” smile. Pretty effective, let me tell you.
When two strangers smile at one another for no apparent reason, it feels as is for that little pocket of time, they’re in complete harmony. Synchronised. Almost as if they’ve got their own private little secret. One that no one else is privy to.
I’m pretty shy. And I suppose you have to have a certain sense of confidence, to start a smile-drive, with someone you don’t know. Still few things make me feel better and gives a more buoyant little spring to my step, than a stranger smiling at me. Whether I started the smiling, and they’re merely reciprocating, or whether they initiated it and I’m the one responding. It doesn’t matter.
The end result is the important bit. Someone I didn’t know smiled. For that little bit of time, they felt good. And I sure know that I did.
It really is the simple pleasures in life. The ones that really count. Who knows, sometimes, that smile, can be the very best thing that happens the whole day long. Like a stolen pleasure, that’s not really forbidden. Easier on the hips than chocolate cake. An indulgence, not tinged with remorse, as indulgences so often are. Not an expensive splurge on an item of clothing, or something or other.
A complete an utter freebie, just begging to be taken. In fact, it’s a highly addictive pastime and hobby. Completely transportable, requiring no set-up costs, or time away from home (barring the obvious stuff you’re doing away from home already, like shopping, etc.).
Actually, if you think about it, mouths are really pretty awesome. Such versatile items. You can use them for the obvious – smiling. But that’s not all. Some of my very favourite things can be done with a mouth. There’s kissing (especially the French kind). There’s eating – yummy! There’s talking – yakkety-yakkety-yak. There’s laughing – bwahahahaha! And there’s even singing – lalalalala!
For me personally, I’ve evolved. And grown and grown in comfort and skill with my smiling. Instinctively knowing, before I’ve dispensed a smile, who will return the favour. It’s kind of like playing “Sweet and Sour”, the way kids do, when they wave at strangers. Those that wave back are sweet. And the grumpy ones that don’t are sour.
Which brings me to another point – I smile, wave, pull faces, and generally act like a loon, when I see young kids in a car. I play peekaboo behind my hands. I stick my tongue out at them. I make a play-play mask with my fingers. I make a trumpet with my fingers on my nose. Basically, I goof off. And little kids are just the sweetest – they always respond. They laugh. They point at me. They tug on their siblings and parents, to get them to share in the show. And I must say, I do deliver. The bonus in doing this, is that it is doubly rewarding. You get smiles and laughs. You gets waves in return. You get big eyes of disbelief and giggling behind hands. It is one of my favourite things to do.
There is no specific venue, or dedicated space, where you are restricted to the practice of smiling. My smile-therapy is mobile, if you like. I do it while I’m out and about driving. Smiling at fellow motorists too.
But here’s the thing – I fear it might be contagious. Actually, I’m really holding thumbs it is.
Just imagine how awesome it would be, if a smile I started spreading to some random stranger in the morning, somehow came back to me again, via a different stranger in the afternoon.
So, therefore I implore you. Let’s make the world a friendlier place. Smile at people.
It makes you feel good. It makes them feel good. It’s a natural face lift. And it’s free.
Let’s start a smile-a-thon!
Article, thanks to Helene
The best always is a group smile, to prove that smiling is contagious.
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