This little message was posted this morning by a friend on facebook and as I read it I thought how true this particular message is. The universality of the smile lets people know that we are happy, friendly, pleasant. The other thing that you can note about a smile is that if you see someone and offer them a smile they will almost always automatically smile back.
Then I thought I should do a google search about what is in a smile. There I discovered a number of articles and studies about what a smile means, there was even an atricle on how to learn to smile more. I am easily entertained when I am looking for distractions from work so I took a peek into what some of the "experts" are saying. Apparently each smile is different and has a variety of interpretations....who knew that a cheeky grin was different than a smirk? Do tell I thought and read on! Well there are crooked smiles,...apparently the sign of a strong leader, the Mona Lisa smile which is discribed not as a serene smile but tight lipped and a " I wonder what she is hiding smile." My education is increasing in leaps and bound here! Laws of attraction also come into play...men go for smiley women but women tend to be attacted to unsmiling men, something to do with testerone levels! And of course there is the importance of noting whether the smile reaches the eyes...that's how you tell if it is a genuine smile! There are whole psychological studies with more to come on happiness and what is in a smile.
The articles that are available are definitely fun to read, the interpretation and conclusions were interesting as well. As a distaction from finishing some required work it was a success...the work is still waiting and I am sitting here typing and smiling at just how successful this virtual smile that was sent this morning turned out to be! So what is in a smile? What does a smile mean to you? Do you like to give smiles and conversely how do you feel to be the recipient? What is in your smile...are you conveying happiness, love, compassion, friendliness?
I think about the numerous journeys that my DH and I have shared. Often times we do not speak the lanuage or have a limited vocabulary but a smile is understood and although we can not communicate in words we are able to convey the message in our body language and our smiles. I remember an occasion at a small cafe/bar in France where few people spoke any english. We ordered drinks and sat at a table outside on the sidewalk. A local man came and sat next to us, tried to strike up a conversantion but we were unable to keep up!!! so we settled for gestures and smiles...it was a lovely conversation, discovered how limited our french was and yet we shared the "happy hour" together while he smoked a cigarette, DH a cigar, I inhaled the fumes (cough, cough) and we all had an evening drink together. There is a universality in the smile that conveys a whole conversation. So go ahead, practice, practice, practice and share those smiles!
A smile cost nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive,
without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment,
but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,
fosters good will in business,
and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary,
cheer to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad,
and is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen,
for it is something that is of no value to anyone
until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.
Give them one of yours,
as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.