I once had a third grade teacher who always told us to smile with our eyes, which never quite made sense to me. How does one smile with one’s eyes? Doesn’t the mouth have something to do with it? Not real helpful for an eight-year-old.
I think she was simply trying to confuse us so we’d shut up when we got a little wild in class. But she taught me more than how to crinkle up my eyes when I smiled. She taught me to smile at others in the hallway, in class, in the cafeteria. She taught me to put my best face forward to anyone I meet. For some reason, her attitude taught me to expect the best of others even if they weren’t smiling back, and that long-ago lesson has held me in good stead.
Now, I’m not saying I’m the most successful person in the world. The way the writing world is changing, I might be forgotten soon. But when I greet people with a friendly smile, they have fonder memories of me than they do of the bitter complainers who find fault with every kind service they might receive.
It was surprising for me to hear that I’m always the one who encourages (really? Me? I’m the whiner) and lend strength to friends when they’re in need. A smile will go a long way for those around you. Try smiling more often. And do it with your eyes, too. You know, those little crinkles that form around our eyes when our smile is genuine. I’ve always thought those lines were so attractive. Now I know why. It means warmth and acceptance. If you haven’t gone through your day with a smile, you might find that you end your day on a sour note. A smile costs nothing, and it can be healthy, not only for the smiler, but the person who receives that smile.
Touch a heart or two today and smile. It’s contagious.