When it comes to human relationships, there is no more powerful expression than the smile. And we are thankful when people remind us of that, as in the editorial by Brittany Salazar in San Angelo.
But we also know that not everyone feels comfortable sharing their smiles. When a person is in that position, it doesn’t matter how powerful a smile can be because they can’t use theirs. However, a new beautiful smile can help them enjoy these benefits again.
When a Smile Helps
What Ms. Salazar does a great job of capturing is that smiles can help on almost any occasion. She talks about how growing up in the small-town community of San Angelo helped develop her values, including the importance of smiles.
Smiles can be very powerful when you’re sick. They can help you feel better, and they can help others around you feel more positive about your state, too. It can transform the mood in any room–even a hospital room–from one of gloom to one of hope.
Smiles can help protect us from embarrassment, and help us be courteous and gracious even when we aren’t at our best.
But perhaps the most important time a smile helps is just the way she describes it in her opening anecdote. A stranger crossing the street shares a smile and a wave with her and she returns it. Smiles bind our communities together, and when we share them with one another, we are reaffirming that bond. As Ms. Salazar puts it, “I acknowledge you and I value you as a person here on Earth.” That brings us all together as part of the great fellowship of humanity.
It would be great if everyone felt as free and comfortable in sharing their smiles. But it isn’t always that easy.
When a Smile Needs Help
A smile is a natural, healthy response to others. But sometimes we learn that our smile isn’t welcomed or returned by others. Or maybe we have made judgments about our smiles that makes us reluctant to share them. When this occurs, the result can be alienating. You stand apart from people without making or reaffirming that bond. And sometimes people can take your reluctance to smile the wrong way, which can put a strain on relationships, even close ones.
And then you can truly enjoy the power of your smile and the smiles of others who respond to you.