Smiling makes use of fewer muscles than frowning…

I find it fascinating how a simple smile can turn the ugliest of faces into a beautiful glow. Whenever I see someone smile, I get the feeling of security and of comfort. Maybe it’s not in the smile that makes someone seem beautiful and friendly. It is what’s behind such a smile that matters. A smile radiates that sense of peace and of self-acceptance. It’s quite contagious, actually. I’ve tried smiling at some people, and in the next instant, I became their friend! I tried smiling at my friends, and they smile too. Fascinating how such a simple flex of facial muscles creates a feeling that encompasses all that is good.

People say that smiling, even though you don’t feel like it, will eventually put one into a good mood. And true enough, I did it in one of the lowest times of my life, when a loved one died. Some people who saw me thought I was going nuts, but mind you, I wasn’t. I was just trying to accept the frailty of human life. I was “pretending” to move on. And I felt relieved eventually, as smiling opened my heart to God’s plan for that person I grew to love. Had I frowned and mourned for so long, do you think I would have moved on?

What’s behind a smile anyway? What is it that creates such a joyful expression? Scientists say it’s because of endorphins, but I say there’s something more, don’t you think? Smiling is produced by human emotions that range from joy to anxiety, from peace to fear. It’s an innate human reaction to certain situations. All human beings smile. Babies smile, even when they were still in their mothers’ wombs. Notice that only humans smile? Animals can’t, for some reason I can’t think of at the moment. Smiling is unique to mankind. It makes me think of how God made us again; in His image and likeness, we were made. So does this mean God can smile too? Such a heavenly smile it would be!

It’s a gift when one possesses the ability to see the silver lining behind the clouds of doubt when they come. I admire my countrymen, my fellow Filipinos. We’re always happy and joyful, even though the economy’s going broke, our leaders aren’t really helping, prices of basic needs are shooting up, rights are being abused and tradition’s dying out. While some people [, including myself at times,] dismiss this as complacency and madness, it is still admirable to see smiling faces amid political chaos and moral turmoil. In fact, the Philippines is one of the happiest nations in the world. I find this a good thing, since it shows our optimism , our ever fighting spirit as a people. And I believe that our future is bright, given enough time. Be patient, my countrymen.

I love people who love to smile. I find it sexy. Whenever one of my friends smile, I feel an “aura” of peace and acceptance that emanates without that warms frozen hearts. When I was young and in a bad mood, my mother would simply smile at me to ease my temper. At first, I would just feign ignorance and continue my scowl, yet slowly but surely, it was making me smile as well. My mother and countless other people have saved me from the dark despair of abyss through their smile. Fascinating how such an expression can also be used to heal and mend broken hearts.

So smile. You don’t frown when someone takes a picture right? I’ve tried looking at the mirror and making infuriated expressions, and I can say that even I don’t fail to scare myself. I’m tired and I’m lonely, and I’m smiling to keep sadness from taking control of me. So smile for me, smile for the world.

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