Smiling and the Secret to Happiness
I always smile at strangers.
I have heard that when you smile, whether you are in a good mood or a bad mood, positive chemicals are sent to your brain and you begin to feel happier. That sounds pretty good to me.
I always smile at strangers, and most of the time I don’t even know that I’m doing it. Sometimes they smile back, and sometimes they look away. I know that I am putting out positive energy, and that’s what’s important to me.
How are you?
A smile, and/or a sincere “how are you?” can improve someone’s whole day. They might be in a bit of a funk, and then all of a sudden, someone cares about them! A complete stranger, no less. It certainly isn’t going to make their day any worse.
If you are a female, I can understand that you might be hesitant to smile at strange men, for fear of sending the wrong message. I get that. But if you feel that you are in a safe environment, a warm smile goes a long way.
Everyone needs a smile!
Certain jobs lend themselves to being treated poorly. Custodial staff, waste management, and fast-food workers are just a few examples. These people may sometimes appear unfriendly to you, but I promise you, they are wonderful people who have built up a defense. They have either been treated poorly consistently, or sense that people look down on them, and they have grown thick skin. They act tough because they expect that you won’t respect them.
Being warm and sincere to people in these positions is not just a favor you are doing for them, it is an act that will greatly enrich your own life. Do not be nice to these people because you feel sorry for them; be nice to them because they have families and problems just like you do. They have birthdays and they lose loved ones. They breathe and they bleed, the same as you.
Your smile is their smile
Connectedness is a theme I will always return to, because it is so central to our experience as human beings. It's so close to our face that we can’t see it. Like the air we take for granted, it’s ever-present and invisible.
We should smile at strangers because they aren’t really strangers. Every one of you out there reading this has entered a situation where you did not know anybody, and made a friend. School, work, hobby, sport or whatever, you’ve met people, formerly strangers, who became great friends. Every person on this Earth could be your friend, given the proper situation. You could find something in common with all of them, and develop a bond.
This song makes me smile
When you smile at someone you don’t know, the message is this: “I don’t know you, but I recognize that we are alike in ways we will probably never have the chance to explore. I love you for no other reason than you are another human being, doing the best you can with what you have.”
Smiling is infectious, and it’s easy. Smiling helps other people, and it helps you. Smile at a stranger and you may find that they are not so strange after all.
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