“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” ~ Joseph Addison
I wanted to find something short and sweet today to celebrate the eminent arrival of spring, because as George Harrison sang, “it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.” But I found this, which is more about community than sunshine, but I love it.
Smiles are very very powerful. I try hard to keep one on my face at work if at all possible. I try hard to remember to smile when walking around the halls at school because I want students to feel the school is a positive, welcoming place (that and I am one of those people with a scary/mean resting face).
One benefit of all this smiling is I get lots of smiles back. Seriously, try it. You’ll see. And getting smiles back makes my day more pleasant, and some days, a smile can make a difference.
I also try to smile when I’m out and about in the streets. When I tell my students on the days we’re discussing self-presentation, they scoff at me, but as I explain, here in NYC when we see people smiling on the street, we often think they are a little not right in the head, so we leave them alone. Or smile back at the nice crazy lady. They laugh, as they are intended to do, but they often agree with me, too. But I have to say, I do seem to experience much less “street rage” than many of the people I know.
As Addison, the great 18th century essayist, tells us, these are mere trifles, and indeed, they are. But smiling, all trite cliches aside, really does brighten the world. And if we’re not adding to the Light, we’re giving power to the Dark.