Lighten Up!

He says my smile makes my eyes light up and my face shine bright. He says my smile makes all things right…in the world…his and mine. I chuckle when he tells me this silly little truth, because a smile sometimes is the hardest thing for me to do. ‘We are not children anymore my dear; our days are full of care and bother, under our bridge has churned much water. So please glance light, and notice not my furrowed brow; I must pack my smiles away for now; for safe keeping in a trunk somewhere, I think’. But then I remember how a smile…his smile, warms me with delight; how it makes hard things simple, and simple things light. I hear his words replay, a gentle reminder to send a smile his way; and before I can raise a practiced scowl, a bubbling arises and quivers my lips; my eyes light up and my face shines bright, and I can’t help but do what he asks. So I send him my smile…and delight of delights…my smile is returned and makes all things right…in the world…his and mine.


Smiling really does delight and lighten the hearts of those in the world in which we live, and there is science to back up what we seem to know intuitively, namely, smiling releases those happy, feel-good hormones into our bloodstream, sending positive healing nourishment coursing through our circulatory and immune systems. A smile needs no lexicon, no thesaurus, no cross-cultural dictionary…it spans every ethnic boundary. It communicates acceptance, honor, joy, delight, love and fun. Sometimes we smile to be polite and that is an extremely helpful and socially acceptable behavior to practice in our modern, fast-paced society. And while the polite social smile may not carry with it the genuine warmth and sincerity of an authentic heart-felt smile, used liberally throughout our busy days, it still does a world of good, for the sender and the receiver.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
Mother Teresa

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