Smile, Like You Mean It

It seems that I am beginning with apologies more and more recently. Yesterday the site was down but after a stern word with the host I was told it won’t happen again. Then again who ever listens to hosts?

I have this game I play sometimes when I am walking down the streets and my mind goes into overdrive. I watch people as they walk past me and imagine how they would look if they were smiling. If just for one moment they were caught by that enigmatic joy, what shape would their faces find themselves taking? Would they turn up their noses, just maybe a shy smile, a complete guttural laugh, a hearty haha? This, obviously, makes people think that I am an absolute creep staring at them and that is okay with me because it makes for good fun.

Smiles have been on my mind for a while, watching a poem by Sarah Kay she says (heavily paraphrased) “ but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I’m in” truth is apart from fear joy is the most powerful emotion that a human being can experience. It’s like sadness on crack. Ron Guttman in his talk about smiles says that a smile produces as much joy in the body as 20,000 chocolates. So smiling does help right? And yet we seem to enjoy walking through life without smiling at all. We seem to derive more pleasure from our serious faces. Now, I know we have problems and I know I have talked about problems here and smiling here but I don’t think that the importance of a good smile can possibly be over emphasized.

Last week as I spoke with a certain lady I was told I have an awkward smile, that I look my most natural when I am angry and hence I shouldn’t make too much of an effort to be happy. In fact she strongly advised that I quit laughing and smiling and stick to being serious. I quit talking to her. The truth of the matter is that a good smile takes away all your problems, if nothing else just for a moment, but when it comes down to it isn’t a moment all we really need?

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