When we stop at traffic signals, he peeps out of the window and gives his enchanting smile to whoever is on the bike or car next to us. The person naturally responds back (thankfully our species has not turned that cold yet) with a smile or a playful gesture that makes my little one even happier and excited. Next thing I know is the stranger and I exchange a smile. It happens quite naturally then and the vibe is more of affability than of civility. Never before have I bothered or thought of smiling like that at people (no, I had no fear of appearing lunatic). It just never occurred that it’s the simplest thing to do to make our world more livable.
When my cherub gets all cranky, I take him outdoors. He instantly calms down and keeps staring at our watchman to catch his attention. Once noticed, he beams heartily and the watchman has no option but to match it. Meanwhile, all the people coming in and going out of the building including domestic help of our neighbours are recipients of his bunny smile. And of course everybody reciprocates with a funny gesture. On one such instance I realized that never before had I acknowledged, forget smiling at, the watchman or the sweeper or the other maids in the building. Here was my toddler reminding me that, “Mamma, it’s not so difficult to smile after all. It just makes the surroundings more pleasant and every recipient of your smile experiences the same feel-good-factor whether he walks back home or drives an Audi home.”
God endowed us with the most beautiful asset, a smile, guaranteed to win hearts. Sadly as we grow into adults this asset is lost in the heat of the day. And by the coolness of the night, it is too late. There are huge problems in our personal and global world. And of course a smile will not solve them all but it certainly makes for a more joyous living and undoubtedly has a trickledown effect. In the heart, we all know it’s true but the fact has slipped from the mind. We have grown so increasingly self-centered, divided by social strata, attitude and mental conditioning that the most natural instinct possessed as a child is the most difficult to retain as an adult.
A smile, as I experienced, connects you to a fellow human being. It is a subtle message to that stranger that I acknowledge and respect your presence on this planet. My son communicates with his smile because that is the only way he knows, but I know much more now. My honey bunchie just taught me that “the language of the heart speaks most beautifully, Mom.”