Tuesday night. I was in the final half hour of a tough eight and a half hour shift at work, and needless to say, wasn’t in the happiest of moods. Tired, hungry and just wanting to go home, which probably explained why I looked a bit miserable if you’d seen me. Then a guy from one of the other departments who I’d never seen before, let alone spoken to, called out to me as he passed my department.
Confused, I called back. “Why?” What business of his was it whether I was smiling or not?
“Just smile,” came the reply. So I did. I smiled because he told me to. I smiled because this man, who didn’t need to care about me or my mood, did care. And by telling me to smile, he cheered me up.
That incident got me thinking about what happened the day before. I was waiting for my train home when a woman asked me the time. I told her and we got talking, two complete strangers on a platform. She told me, among other things, that I had a nice smile.
In a world where it’s so easy to be depressed, a smile is often all it takes to cheer someone up. As it happened, I didn’t even know I was smiling while I was talking to the woman at the station; I had a 25 minute wait for my train and was hungry and tired. Yet somehow, I must have found it in me to smile, else she wouldn’t have commented on it.
There’s a lot to be said for a smile. Smile at your friends, smile at your family. Smile at a complete stranger in the street for no good reason. It makes you feel happier, and it’ll rub off on them, too. If we can’t make the world a better place, we can at least make it slightly more happier.