One afternoon I was at the local pizza hut with my children and my youngest boy says to me: "Mommie, that lady over there is frowning at me." As I looked to where he was gesturing I saw an older lady sitting across the dining area, in alignment with my son's view. She did have a frown on her face. She looked to be scowling, almost disapprovingly at us, at my son. He was about 3 or 4 years old at the time. He has my father's smile. Big and cheesy and contagious. Just like daddy's was.
I though for a moment and said "Bear, maybe she's not smiling because she's sad or something happened. Maybe she needs someone to smile at her." My son says "Why mommy?" I said "because sometimes people can't smile 'cause their smile is broken and if you give them a smile from you it fixes it. Why don't you try smiling at her and see what happens." So my little guy looks up, gives the biggest, happiest, warmest smile you ever saw; from ear to ear. Then he gives the woman a little finger tips wave as well. And the next thing I knew he bursts out to me: "It worked mommy! It worked! She smiled at me!" He was so delighted that she smiled I almost wept over the sentiment of the whole thing. My son discovered the power of a smile that day and a woman went on with her day obviously a little bit brighter.
I remember my Grandpa Hunter singing a little "ditty" over the years about smiling, especially if I wasn't! "IF IT'S ANY TROUBLE, IT'LL GO AWAY ON THE DOUBLE, IF YOU S-M-I-L-E. SO CHASE AWAY YOUR TROUBLES AND BE HAPPY IN A DOUBLE WHEN YOU S-M-I-L-E" That's it, that's the whole ditty; at least that's all of it I can recall. Either way, it worked. You couldn't help yourself. You smiled, even if it was because the thing seemed so ridiculous. Or maybe it was that silly look he got on his face and the way he looked over the top of his glasses at you while he sang it. But you smiled nonetheless.
So remember these things the next time you are not smiling and reach out to someone who helps you smile or laugh. You truly cannot laugh or genuinely smile without being effected. And when you see others without smiles, or a pleasant expression; SMILE AT THEM. You will make their whole world better even if you never know how or why.
My son smiles that big ole grin to this very day. And it's still just as infectious and adorable as when he was little. What is your smile story? If you would like to share it you are welcome to do so in the comments area. I would love to hear about it. Or, if you rather, you can send it by private message to me on Facebook. But no matter what, please, S-M-I-L-E.