Saturday, May 31, 2008

Curious about a Smile: How Important Is a Smile? What Reactions Do You Experience? What Are the Benefits?

Always keep your smile. That's how I explain my long life.” - Jeanne Calment, French celebrity

A smile is a facelift that's in everyone's price range!” - Tom Wilson, American cartoonist

In past articles and e-newsletters, I have urged readers to smile – even at total strangers. The American musician, Patti LuPone suggests, “Smile at a stranger. See what happens.” What generally happens is that the person you are smiling at breaks into a big smile too. And, I do hope, they continue to smile at others they encounter during the day.

I chose it as the theme for this blog, because of what happened this week in one of my fitness classes. I always encourage the students to smile and I even add bits of humor throughout the class. Not everyone beams broadly, but most at least grin.

A new couple showed up for class and the man wore a pleasant grin throughout. The woman, however, scowled the whole time. I kept telling myself that it was probably because she was new and concentrating on the newness. I felt badly for her, and do hope to see a glimmer of a grin in the future.

How about you? Are you a smiler? I am, and I must admit that I smiled and smiled as I read this week’s quotations. Here are some that should make you smile with me:
  • If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” - Andy Rooney, American journalist
  • A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” - Denis Waitley, American writer
  • I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” - Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist
  • Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” - George Eliot, British author
  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscaglia, American author
  • Beauty comes from a life well lived. If you've lived well, your smile lines are in the right places, and your frown lines aren't too bad, what more do you need?” - Jennifer Garner, American actress

In addition, a few with a different twist:

  • Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.” - Greta Garbo, Swedish actress
  • If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” - Red Skelton, American comedian
  • War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.” - Winston Churchill, English statesman
  • A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.” - Herman Melville, American novelist
  • A stale article, if you dip it in a good, warm, sunny smile, will go off better than a fresh one that you've scowled upon.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist
  • Let me smile with the wise, and feed with the rich.” - Samuel Johnson, English author

Two more as reminders for all of us:

When you walk into a room, a healthy, beautiful smile is incredibly important.” - Susan Anton, American actress

Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” - Les Brown, American businessman

Keep smiling, and let me know how it works for you. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look and act better when smiling.