Why do you smile?
When was the last time you smiled? The time before that? Were they for similar reasons? Well I hope they weren’t or its going to ruin the whole point I’m trying to drive home here. Just go with, will you ?
Some of us smile when we are in good company, some of us, when the company leaves and we can finally climb back into our ongoing solitude. Some of us smile when the sky turns yellow, while some prefer hues of crimson or, my personal favourite – so deep blue that it’s almost black. Some of us smile when we see that one person and there are those who smile when they successfully manage to evade the prying eyes of that one person. Some of us smile when we have a tree in our house on Christmas eve, some of us smile when there are presents under the tree and of course there are some who smile only when their present is bigger than the next in line. Some of us smile when an infant’s fingers latch onto ours, while some prefer paws and a tail that just won’t stop wagging. Some of us smile when we get our hands on a fresh new book with crisp virgin pages that might draw blood at the slightest caress while some prefer them time worn, with scribbled notes and folded favourites, each story holding within itself the interpretations of one thousand strangers.
Some of us smile when there’s opportunity, ripe for the taking, sprung at us out of the blue while some of us prefer patient, planned out success. Some of us smile when we are truly happy while most of us smile simply because explaining what’s wrong is too much work. Often leaves the other person in a helpless state, with no knowledge whatsoever of what to do or say, and we end up consoling them that it’s no big deal, while it was we who needed consolation in the first place. Some of us smile so loud that words fail us, some of us smile because words fail us. Some of us smile when our father comes home carrying a box of chocolates, or a chequebook, to each his own, while some smile just to see that their father has returned home for the night.Some of us smile when the birthday cake is smothered into every crevice in our faces as our friends and family stand watching around us, the younger ones lying in splits on the ground, while some smile the brightest when that special someone sneaks us away into a dim room and holds out a cupcake as we stand confused where to look – the lonesome candle atop the frosting or the glow it casts upon their face as they whisper, “Make a wish”. Some of us smile at the slightest tickle, while some of us need a full body hug that at least lasts six ‘Mississippi’s. Some of us need the perfect rainbow while for some the faintest stars will bare all whites. Then there are those who just have to capture the rainbow on their instagram. Some of us smile when the speedometer runs in triple digits while some of us live for the moments when the walks slow down to almost a standstill but the conversation shows no signs of dying down. Some of us smile as the blades of our private chopper starts whirring while some of us smile as the humming of the approaching jet engine fades into the horizon and the roof is still standing. Some smile as the ‘likes’ keep piling up on their virtual timelines while some smile with drooping eyelids, anticipating the impending phone call from a long-distance promise as their clock ticks into a foreign timezone. And all of us live here, in this one pale blue dot, under the same grey sky. Where else are we going to go?
That’s 7 billion people, each with their unique perception of happiness based on a lifetime of cumulative experiences. Does that mean there are no bad moments? Seems like any event that happens any time of the day can end up making someone happy in some corner of the world. So next time you’re having a bad day, know that someone somewhere is smiling, and your turn is just around the corner. There is a study that confirmed that balancing a pencil sideways between your nose and upper lip tricks your brain into thinking you’re smiling simply because it pushes the same muscles in your face that a smile would, and that is enough to lift up your spirits, that’s practically, joy reverse engineered. But then again, there isn’t always a pencil lying around when you need one and that’s where the list comes in. Make note of what makes you smile the next time you do – form crystal clear, well detailed memories. And then make some more and order them into a mental list. Every time you feel low thereafter, go through that list and you are bound to catch yourself smiling again. Smiles are the only curves that need no diet or exercise and if ain’t flaunting ’em every chance you get, what are you even doing anyway ?