“You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ~Charlie Chaplin
There's nothing quite as kind and friendly, and wonderful, as a smile.
A smile shows openness, warmth, and an ability to be vulnerable; it shows a desire for connection, shows empathy, and can leave the recipient feeling acknowledged and validated—like they exist in another's eyes, and that they matter.
When I smile at someone, I instantly feel a sense of joy and lightness wash over me, a sense of warmth and ease, even if on a small level.
It's hard not to feel uplifted myself when I smile at someone!
And to be on the receiving end of someone else's smile is an extraordinary gift, as well—that sense of connection to another human being, often a stranger even, gives me hope that there is still decency in the world, still a longing to be kind for no specific reason other than it's the right thing to do and that it makes the world just a little sweeter and more pleasant.
True, there are some folks who are tough nuts to crack when it comes to a smile.
...we never know just how deeply a simple acknowledgment like a smile can affect a person who just happens to be in desperate need of one.
Every now and then when I'm on a walk in my neighborhood and smile at someone, I get a blank look back, or an expression that almost seems to read, “Why are you being so friendly?” and that's always a little shocking to me.
But for the most part, people tend to really appreciate that brief moment of coming together, eyes in a happy squint and lips curled up, perhaps even a hearty “Hi!” or “Good morning!” to open the channels up.
I truly think we live for those precious moments of genuineness between us, those opportunities to reach out and touch one another's souls and show our best self, and to experience someone else's best self.
We're eager to be moved and to be pleasantly surprised by kindness and compassion, and it takes so very little, really, for us to offer up that little ray of sunlight to someone else that comes into our day.
Smiles cost nothing—they cost zero, zilch, nada.
So what better thing to do then to dole them out as generously as we possibly can, giving them away to anyone and everyone who crosses our path willing to receive them (or perhaps not willing to receive them—maybe those folks need them even more!).
Because we never know just how deeply a simple acknowledgment like a smile can affect a person who just happens to be in desperate need of one.
So smile! Smile for yourself, and smile for someone else.
See if you don't feel elevated, and more open and available, with joy and positivity filling your own being when you do.
And if you receive a smile from someone else, then consider it a precious blessing and something to cherish and take in with a grateful heart.
After all, we've been given these tremendously expressive faces, so let's use them for something wonderful like expressing some kindness and love.
It costs us absolutely nothing when we do that, but everything if we don't.
Taste what's good and pass it on.