Most of us cringe as we approach the age of 30 or 40.
For some reason, and for most of us, these age milestones get us thinking – Am I old? Am I overweight? Is this the life I really wanted to live?
Amidst this, one aspect of our lives that gets compromised the most is our “smiles”.
As we age, we tend to smile less and less. We stop realizing how powerful a smile can be.
That is why I took some time to shift my thoughts from my increasing age and reflect on ‘smile’, and share a personal story that got me back to this amazing asset we all possess, and in abundance.
First, a Small Story…
Around five years back, during my college days, I was going through some minor financial problems, and the emotions on my face said it all.
A close friend, who always wore a calm and peaceful smile on her face, enquired what was wrong with me.
“It’s none of your matter!” I replied in a state of emotional outburst. “You can’t find a solution to my problem.”
I anyways shared my problems with her. She tried to calm me by saying, “Don’t get muddled up by such things in life. We have to deal with a lot more than this in life.”
I got furious at her and said, “You are happy and content with everything in life, so you won’t understand what I am going through! I don’t want to see you again.”
Anyways, around two years after we passed out of the college, I got the news that my friend was admitted to the hospital. I went to meet her, and found her with the same smile I saw everyday in the college.
“Hope everything’s fine?” I asked her. “How come you are in the hospital?”
What she said next left me numb!
“I am getting treated for cancer,” she said, “…a disease I’m suffering from for the last four years.”
I held her hand, wept, and apologized for my misbehaviour that had cost me my friendship. She consoled me, and again with a radiant smile on her face.
It was then that I realized the real meaning of what William Shakespeare had said…
Laughing faces do not mean that there is absence of sorrow! But it means that they have the ability to deal with it.
Is Smiling an Art?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines art as “the expression of creative skill.”
Art is, in fact, so much more than that. It is an expression of who we are, what we are wrestling with, what we think.
What is more, an art never happens without intent. Plus, the artist must have the discipline or he never really creates.
Smile isn’t any different, I think.
It also expresses who we are, what we are wrestling with, and what’s going on in our mind.
A smile also does not happen without intent and you must have a habit of smiling or unless you will rarely smile, like I did till a few years back.
Smile, as you know, is infectious. When you smile at someone, you pass on any number of messages, such as:
- I’m happy.
- I’m in love.
- My life is good.
- I love my work.
- I’m healthy.
- I’m enjoying this moment.
- I just solved a problem.
- I just heard good news.
- I’m on holiday.
- I just heard a joke.
- Someone just smiled at me.
I’m sure you will agree that the list is endless.
The World Smile Day is on 4th October 2013. Yours is today.
Smile at a stranger. You might change a life.
Smile at your colleagues (and your boss). They will respond with smiles.
Smile at yourself. You will look even more beautiful.
Smile. Yes, you can!
I’ll leave you with an amazing poem and a video from Charlie Chaplin that will surely bring about several smiles on your face…
Smile though your heart is aching;
Smile even though it’s breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by.
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow,
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever so near,
That’s the time you must keep on trying,
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you just smile.
~ Lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. Music written by Charlie Chaplin, 1936.
If you can’t see the video above, click here.
But first, smile.
Image Source: drjennycretsinger.com