My mom always had a great sense of humor, and loved to make people laugh, or
at least smile, even in her darkest times. Almost every day for years, first
with my dad, and then alone, Adrienne would go to Panera Breads for coffee and a sourdough roll. Each time, she’d see the same young server who always seemed expressionless, even after she’d thank him with a smile.
One day, Adrienne struck up a conversation with this teenager.
"Are you happy?” she asked.
“Uh, I guess so,” he replied.
“Well then, can you tell your face?” she asked.
He smiled back at her.
Some of my dearest friends, former bosses, and neighbors have the best smile.
I think about how I met them through the years, and if it weren’t for their
smile, I would not have taken the chance to get to know most of them.
In the summer before kindergarten, I met my first "out of the neighborhood" friend at the rec program at Staib Park in Hackensack. Karen smiled at me, we played, and then she asked me if I wanted to come across the street for a cold drink at her house. Karen took me by the hand and we became best friends. She’s still one of my #1 friends after more than 50 years.
Then there's my friend from town, who I met over 12 years ago at a
parents' meeting for Cub Scouts. The meeting was held in the multi-purpose room
at Oradell Public School, and the host was looking for Scout leaders for
five-year-old Tiger Cubs.
I looked around the room and caught a big smile from a friendly woman I did
not know at all. I turned around, thinking the smile was for someone else, but
soon realized it was me who she was smiling at. I smiled back, and before we
knew it, Lynda and I became Scout leaders together — and fast friends.
In contrast, there are times I pre-judge people because they don’t wear a
smile, a grin or even a small smirk. In fact, their dead pan look actually makes
them look miserable.
In getting to know them, I’ve often found they are some of
the nicest people in the world, would do anything for you, and can actually be
quite funny at times. They just don’t let anyone know it.
Given the choice, I would rather smile than frown because of the benefits it
affords. Overall, smiling can simply boost your confidence and brighten your day.
A smile can even help win someone over, get the job during the toughest
interview, and work you way out of a difficult situation. It can even make you
look younger, which alone can make me want to smile from ear to ear.
When it comes to your health, when your mind feels happy, your body will feel
better. Put a smile each day to help you live your life to the fullest.
Above all, be happy. And if you are happy and you know it, make sure it shows. As they say, smiling is contagious!
For more "slice of life" stories, go to www.amorejourney.com/blog