I recently took a job as a sales representative at a department store that emphasizes customer service and friendliness. Because it is important to smile at and talk to customers, I have had a great deal of practice smiling lately. I realized the other day how good the smiling has been for me. I left work, after smiling for hours, with a smile on my face and a light-hearted, happy feeling in my chest. It's been a long time since I've felt that good. It made me realize just how much power is in a smile.
I was very happy as a child. Sure I had the usual disappointments, but I generally had a smile on my face. From a very early age I understood the importance of giving one of my smiles to people who were not smiling. Right away they would cheer up and smile back. I was open and encouraging with them, and they would respond in kind. Doors opened easily for me. Things almost always went my way. It is only as an adult that I have come to realize my smile had a great deal to do with that.
As an adult, my own personal problems as well as the problems of the world have often weighed me down. I spent years as a single mom depressed and only minimally able to cope with life's problems. In the past year, I have been made very aware that much of that time was spent not smiling.
As I reflect on where my life has been, where my life is, and where I want my life to go, I am increasingly aware of the power of a smile. It has opened many doors and enabled me to help others. Even more important, it has had the power to heal me. It is one simple little action, but it has the power to change the world.