Depression

Smiling


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Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. -Mother Teresa

When was the last time you consciously smiled? Was it when your friend told you a joke? When you got good news from your family? When you passed that nice lady at the bank? Do you remember your last smile? This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

I met a man the other day who held a door open for me as I was leaving a building. Now I do not believe that chivalry is dead so I smiled at the nice gentleman and thanked him. In response, I got, “uh-huh,” with absolutely no expression or care at all. Now contrast that with the man I met at the bank just yesterday. Not only did he hold the door open for me, which was nice enough, but he then ran ahead of me to open the second door, and stood there with a huge grin and, “After you Miss.”

Now I know what you’re thinking, he sounds kind of creepy. But the truth is he was not at all weird or looking at me funny. All he was was a very nice older man (had to be at least 70) who was doing a favor for a young girl. It was not so much the holding of the door that I respected from this gentleman, but it was his ready smile that greeted me in a cheerful and pleasant way. I had no choice but to give him a big grin in return.

I’m not going to harp on the poor guy who gave me the non-committal, ‘uh-huh,’ because I cannot judge as to what he was dealing with on that particular day. I know we all have struggles. I know we all deal with pain and sadness and anger. but my question then becomes, why not smile through it? Personally, when someone else greets me with a lovely toothy grin, I cannot help but smile in return. And I find when I get smiling, nothing can really stop me at that point.

I have begun to make a conscious effort to smile whenever possible. That means when I talk to strangers, ordering food, making a purchase, when my friend is telling me a story, and even when I’m sitting on the bus, doing a crossword and listening to a good song. That being said, if you find someone tapping her foot and grinning like a fool at her crossword puzzle, it’s probably me.

Taylor writes on relationships, depression, and general mental health.

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