the power of a smile

when I was a kid, I read a poem by Barbara Hauck about a smile. she was 13 when she wrote and it just goes to show, you don’t have to be old or mature or have a degree in literature or social sciences or whatever to posses wisdom. this little girl surely did.

the poem follows:

“She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
and wrote him a thank-you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank-you
that he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings,
and gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
for two days he’d had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
he left for his small dingy room.
(He didn’t know at the moment
that he might be facing his doom.)
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
and took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
to be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked ’til he woke the whole household
and saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
that hadn’t cost a cent.”

–Barbara Hauck, (age 13)

now that you’ve read it, what do you think? do you, like me, see the power behind a smile yet? if not, try it.

tomorrow, or today, put a smile on your face. smile at the stranger sitting across from you on the train or bus. smile at the person behind the wheel of the car next to you at the traffic light. smile at everyone you see. watch how many smiles you get back! smiling, like yawning, is contagious. when you smile at someone, usually they smile back. it feels good to be smiled at. when someone smiles at you, it’s almost as if they are giving you a silent approval. they’re acknowledging you and their response to seeing you is a smile. damn that feels good, don’t it?? well it’s the same for those you smile at. they feel good about having received your smile and sure enough, they give it back. a smile may seem so small but truly, it is one of the most returnable gifts. when you smile at someone, you’ve gifted them with your smile and so they gift you back their own. it’s pretty dope if you ask me. I’m a giver so I give smiles all day long and I get smiles back all day long. it doesn’t hurt that I think I have a really nice smile to boot but it doesn’t matter what type of smile you think you have, whether you think it’s awkward or goofy. it doesn’t matter. what matters is that you smile and share your smile with EVERYONE!

okay, so we’ve covered that. lets get biological on your ass. (yeah, SCIENCE! bitch) do you know that smiling triggers feel good chemicals in your brain? well it does! on the flip side, frowning triggers feel bad chemicals in your brain too. no one wants to feel bad. no one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves in the mirror, “Today I will frown and scowl at everyone I encounter. Today I will have a bad day and transmit this bad day to everyone!” (maybe there are people who wake up like that but lets ignore those bums right now and say they don’t exist, ok?) people prefer good days over bad and rightly so but do you know that you can pretty much guarantee that everyday will be a good day simply by smiling? you probably think I’m full of it but I’m serious. since smiling causes a chemical reaction in your brain that releases feel good chemicals into your system, the mere act of smiling will alter your mood towards the positive. when you feel good on the inside, you can’t help but feel good on the outside. when your inside and outside match, what else is there to feel bad about? when you feel good, you meet life’s challenges positively. there isn’t an obstacle or set back that you can’t overcome.

examine this:
we all have that one friend who is always upset or down and who always complains about how things never go right for them. the woe is me friend who just can’t figure out why things seem to always go awry in their lives. observe them. do they look worried? angry? do they always wear a frown? are their eyebrows forever furrowed? this friend, no matter how often you advise them, no matter what you do for them, they stay stuck in this eternal rut with no way out. no amount of council you give them will change this about them so as mean as this next thing may sound, my only recommendation to you is to STOP GIVING THEM YOUR ENERGY! you’re wasting it on someone who doesn’t know how easy it is to live happily and peacefully so just stop. instead, tell them to smile more. your words are of no use to them but if they simply smiled more, their own brain will have a bigger impact on them than anything you could ever say. say, “You know, you should smile more. you’ll feel better if you smile more.” shit, if you have to use more words than that, tell them about the chemical reaction smiling imposes on the body! (yeah, SCIENCE!!! bitch) then, if they start smiling and keep that smile there diligently, they won’t have any choice about how they feel because biology will have taken over. their lives will change without them even noticing and it will all be because of what??? a smile. “a simple smile that hasn’t cost a cent!”

so put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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