I wrote this article a few years ago but it is so applicable today when folks seem to be getting even more distant to each other. We need to realize a smile, though it may seem insignificant, can make a huge difference in someone’s life. You never know what another person is going through or feeling, how alone they might be.
Give A Smile-Get A Smile
In today’s world of technology we do not have ample opportunity to get personal. Life is fast-paced and everyone seems to be in a rush. We dial the phone and we talk to machines. We spend long hours on the computer playing games, emailing one another or working with our web pages. Even in the office environment, we email the person in the cubicle three feet away instead of walking over to hand them a task list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I cannot imagine being without my computer and am guilty of spending a large part of my day working and socializing on the Internet. The Internet affords us wonderful opportunities. Without monetary cost outside of an Internet connection, one can communicate with persons all over the world. At our fingertips is a worldwide educational abundance. I could continue to expound on the many benefits that technology has brought into our lives; however, that is not the gist of this article.
As a result of the technological age, our personal touch with one another is decreasing. It is imperative that we take advantage of the fleeting opportunities to be personal. Human beings are becoming strangers to one another. Too often we are in a hurry to get on with the business of living and walk past each other on the street without an acknowledgment. Great deals of people exist daily without the slightest feel of a human touch or a kind word from another person.
Have you wondered why there is so much clinical depression in the world today? Ask yourself why so many young people in our societies are distraught; many attempting suicide or, even worse, murdering many numbers of their classmates or family members. Do you conclude as I do that we are in need of a one-on-one personal touch?
Think back to a time when you may have been standing in line at a bank, or a grocery store and someone turned and smiled at you. Prior to that smile you were feeling very anxious, possibly tapping your foot in impatience. You were irritated to be wasting your time waiting in a long line, pondering over the mundane things that needed to get done. You may have even been working yourself into a frustrated frenzy.
Suddenly an individual standing in the line across from you flashes a broad friendly smile. Instantly you receive the warmth that the smile was transmitting and tension is eased. More often than not, you feel compelled to smile back. You do so without giving it thought, as though it is a natural inclination to reciprocate the smile. Indeed, it is natural. We were created to be social creatures.
If only for a few minutes, the tension from the workday pressures are eased once you return the smile. In that moment of personal embrace from another person you now experience a feeling of acceptance. You have shared a personal contact, someone cares that you are here and now you are a part of something larger than yourself, you are now an integral part of the human race.
There is power in that smile. On the spur of the moment you experience affection. The individual offering up the smile now is changed from a stranger to be wary of to a kindred spirit. A conversation may ensue and now the mundane becomes more enjoyable and you have experienced stress reduction. The world is now warm and comforting instead of cold, fearful and bitter.
Are you perhaps thinking that our fast pace lifestyle is not lacking in this sense of belonging? Think again! Ponder why our youths join gangs. They will reveal that they are seeking to be a part of something. They’re seeking their natural instinct to be social. The gang becomes an extension of the family. In a gang the youths feel important. Within the group they experience friendship and loyalty. It offers them a team like environment. They don’t have to struggle through life alone; they are not abandoned any longer.
Giving and receiving a smile may not be the solution to the world’s problems, however, a smile is a good place to start. Being social creatures it is imperative that we accept each other in warmth in order to experience that we belong to each other, to the entire human race. We should feel moved to embrace each other in our hearts and minds and with a smile and physical touch like a handshake or hug.
Go ahead and smile. I dare you. But be careful. You might find the world a friendlier place. You might find that your brothers and sisters are warm and loving; also desirous to feel accepted. Your smile might just make their day. And I’m betting you will get a nice warm smile in return.
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