You Can Hear a Smile…

Check this out.  See the little girl in the back; if you listen closely you will hear something that is rather pleasant to hear.  It is a simple, pure, sincere smile.  Can you hear it?

Look in the back, there is a cute little gal, sharing a smile with us.
A smile can improve our looks more than what we wear. Photo by: D.S.Hansen

Sometime back I heard one; it was so loud that it did not take long before you could hear its effect on the entire room full of people.  Wow, “a person who can give others the joy that comes with a smile, is a friend to all.”  

The other day I was doing some thinking about a lady I had spoken to on the telephone. There was something unusual about the conversation, but I wasn’t quite sure what.  She must have been in her thirties, and she seemed reasonably intelligent.  For me, it was just another business call; there was nothing special about it.  But when I had finished the conversation and put the phone down; I felt that the day was going to be a little better than usual, and for some reason it was!

I wasn’t quite sure why so I pondered it for a little while. Finally, after much thought, it came to me; she was smiling while she talked to me.  There was no doubt about it, I knew for sure, even though I could not see her.  It started me thinking, so I employed a technique of meditation that I had learned.  This technique was called the Lotus Flower.  The objective is to simply gain a better understanding of the subject you are interested in. 

To do Lotus Flower meditation you first pick a subject you are interested in and you want to studying more closely. Place that subject in the [1]center of an imaginary flower.  In this case, the subject was to be a smile, so I placed it in the center of the flower.  Now you begin to think of different things that are related to a smile.  After pondering one that is associate with the smile, return to the center of the flower (the subject) and find another.  This keeps the focus on the flower we are studying or learning about, and the pedals of the flower are the things a smile influences.

There is another technique called Chain-link meditation. With this type we allow our thoughts to continue further away from the main subject, like links in a chain. So we begin with the central subject, and then we think of something that is connected to it, and then something that is connected to the previous link, and so on..  Each thing or aspect becomes a link in the life chain. It show us how we can influence things important to us, or how we can break the chain.

For example, Smile is the center, then happiness could be the first link. Then sharing that happiness with another could be the next. Then we can see that the person we shared the happiness with may improve some’s attitude about the days work. Then their work happens to be associated with things that affect us, or projects we care about, and then we save the planet… well, maybe not quite that simple, but we all are connected. I call it the “we” factor. Together we can make miracles and do so much more. I think you get the way it works.

As I pondered the fact that I could hear a smile, I realized that smiles were contagious.  That was why my day became a little better.  You may recall sitting next to someone who stretches, covers their mouth, and yawns.  Notice that just talking about yawning may make you want to yawn. The same is true with a smile, it is catching. Then I came to another understanding, “If smiles are contagious, so are frowns, bad moods, overconfidence, anger, and . . .  Wow, that is neat and scary.

When I teach safety to beginning climbers and rescue personnel there is a saying I like to use,

“Safe we should be with our life, safe we must be with someone else’s life.” Here’s another saying that made sense, “Cheerful we should be with our lives, Cheerful we must be with others lives?”  

That simple little smile began to blossom into quite the subject.  After thinking about how contagiousness a smile is, I returned to the center of the flower to find another related thing.  You know, there is absolutely nothing that I can think of that will improve a person’s looks more than a simple, sincere smile. 

Think about it. You may have seen on T. V., or in a magazine, a comparison between brand X shampoo and the next leading brand.  I have often noticed that the biggest difference wasn’t in the hair, but rather in the facial expressions.

Bruce Lee, a skilled martial artist often spoke of tradition.   Here’s one of his sayings: “Tradition is the way of the mindless and enslaved, but to be inspired by tradition to achieve greater heights is the way of the genius.”

Here’s a story I heard a while back. It has to do with one way we learn, and of course, we can learn good or bad, it is up to us to figure out if we are learning one or the other?  The story goes like this. 

A gentleman’s wife happened to be preparing Thanksgiving dinner for a family and he noticed she cut off both ends of a ham before she put it in the pan to cook it. 

Why did, “she always cut them off?”  Out of curiosity one day, he asked her why she did, and she simply said, “That’s what my mom does and she’s a good cook.”  Later that week, he had an opportunity to talk to his mother in law and he asked her if cooking the ham that way make it taste better? She simply said, her mother had cooked her hams that way.

Several months later, while they were on vacation, they visited his wife’s grandmother.  She was eighty or ninety years young, but spry as ever.  Somewhere during the visit, he popped the question, which had become somewhat of an obsession.  “Hey, Grandma Jensen, he said jokingly. 

“Got a question for you, “Why do you cut the ends of the ham before you cook it?”  She said “the pan was too small!”  Interesting how habits can start.

Could a remembering to smile improve our future?

Here’s a small list of things I read about a smile and why it is so valuable…

It costs nothing but creates much.  It enriches those who receive it, without impoverishing those who give.  It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.  None are so rich they can get along without it, and none are so poor but are richer for its benefits.  It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.  

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for the trouble.  Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last-minute rush of our daily lives, should our neighbors and friends be too weary to smile at us, might we be so good as to leave ours with them– for nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.

[1] You can also draw a flower in the center of a paper so you can keep track of your thoughts and ideas.  This is particularly good for group brain storming and study.