What a difference a smile makes!
- Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - November 16, 2015 - 9:00am

Believe me, with just a smile, things can be very different. In our dealings with others, either planned or unplanned, a smile can make a lot of wonders. And in our difficult moments, a smile may be all that is needed to lighten things and infuse hope and optimism to the parties concerned.

I strongly suggest that we smile always and that our smile be genuine that comes from the heart that in turn is immersed in God. For sure, when smiling becomes a general norm, the world would be a much better place to live in, even if problems, crises and suffering may still continue to haunt us.

And that’s simply because a smile shows nothing other than the goodness of the heart. It reflects an attitude of openness, transparency, simplicity that is always a winner especially in an age tested by all kinds of pressures. As such, a smile can always attract everyone, irrespective of our different situations and conditions.

For one, a smile softens hearts that are burdened by some problems. It has a way of brightening the environment. It can trigger a chain reaction of goodness among people who often find themselves in some slippery slope of anguish and tension all the way to sadness and depression.

You smile at a person, or even at a stranger, and almost invariably he or she would smile back. A smile facilitates friendship and many other things like dialogue, empathy and compassion, easy acceptance of an inconvenient truth, understanding people who are very different from us. A smile is like “sugar that makes the medicine go down.”

A smile speaks a different language that often transcends the powers of words and logic. It possesses a certain magic that defies explanation. It has a way of directly touching people’s heart and soul with a warmth that can melt away walls and barriers among us.

With a smile, we can easily enter into the mind and heart of others. Reading their thoughts and discerning their desires are made easy. Adjusting to their ways, adapting to the how they are become almost effortless.

And with a smile too, we can more quickly open our mind and heart to the reality of things.  The subjectivity of our perceptions can coincide with the objectivity of things. With a smile, suspending our preferences and biases to accommodate different opinions and even beliefs, become less troublesome. More than that, with a smile, we can easily adjust our words and behavior to the persons and situations at hand.

And the good thing about all this is that we don’t have to exert much effort to smile. It can readily be done. There may only be some minor difficulty in this regard, as in having to overcome certain physical or temperamental limitations that can work against smiling. But these should not be a big problem.

What can constitute as a major challenge is to make our smile genuine and sincere, one that comes from the heart that in turn is immersed in love with God and with others. That’s when a smile can have its fullest good effects.

And making that smile genuine, sincere and divinely inspired can comprise our daily task of sanctification. We don’t have to look for some extraordinary occasions of martyrdom to attain our daily acts of heroic sanctity. We don’t have to think of many gimmicks to be effective in our friendships and work of apostolate.

In this regard, we have to learn how to handle our moods that we all have. Little by little and everyday, we should gain more mastery and dominion over our moods and emotions. They are not necessarily bad, but they need to be directed and properly motivated.

It’s a pity that many people are not aware of this problem, so common as it is, and are therefore doing hardly anything to solve it. That’s why, parents and teachers who are in the forefront of the education of children should be made to be aware of this problem and trained and equipped to solve it.

Dour faces have no place at home nor in school. Everyone ought to be smiling and cheerful. If the art of smiling is learned in these elementary places of formation, we can expect a society full of smiling people.

Things would be really different. The world would assume a brighter color. It would be more able to cope with its endless challenges. Our humanity would be purified and enhanced, and better poised to reach its ultimate goal of supernatural life with God and everybody else.



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