You might wonder why I’m writing about this subject right now? Well, for two particular events that happened this past week. First, I’m subscribed to the magazine “Family and Culture” which is published by the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), which helps me with regards to the education of my family and how I might improve certain things in my home. On the cover of this quarter’s edition were the words, “The Art of Smiling.” Second, I wrote a Whatsapp to thank a friend of mine who recommended a book and sent it to me (via my daughter Pepa’s backpack) “A Woman’s Smile” (the title in English is “The Ingredients of Love”) by Nicolas Barreau. The reviews of this book have been outstanding and it has become a sensation throughout Europe, specifically in Italy and Germany. I’ll explain more later.
In short, based on these two stories, that’s how I decided to write about this theme, the smile.
Sometimes in public we see signs telling us, “Please Smile.” And oftentimes I ask myself what must be happening in the world that we need to be reminded to smile.
Those who have been following me for some time might remember that one of the improvements for my daughter Pepa one year was that she should smile more. While she was growing up we started to realize that Pepa was a pretty serious girl. But it’s always more pleasant to be next to a person that smiles often. For this reason, as a family, we decided that Pepa’s area of improvement for the year would be to smile more. Whenever we passed her somewhere, each of us would smile exaggeratedly to remind her that she should smile too! And today, I should tell you, she has the most precious smile… and I don’t just say that because of a mother’s love. One mother from her school told me and even some followers have mentioned it in private. So it’s important to know that Pepa wasn’t born with a smile on her face, but now she is always smiling. You can also work on helping your children to smile more (and it’s something I would highly recommend).
I read in the news once that they even now have laughter therapy workshops. The facial muscles have to relax once in a while, and what better way than to laugh with your friends. Relaxing your facial muscles is convenient, and it might help to delay the onset of wrinkles. Although I have to say that in my opinion wrinkles after a certain age only make a person more beautiful. My father, when I was young, when he saw me upset used to tell me, “If you get angry you have two problems: getting angry and then calming down. And stop frowning, that doesn’t make you very pretty…”
How easy it is to smile and yet how difficult it can be at times. Sometimes we have to put forth a lot of effort to smile in a situation or with a person that might be difficult. For example when we are going through a difficult time and maybe you’re even crying inside, but you know that right now in front of your child you have to smile…
It seems that the smile, after our ability to reason, might be said to be the biggest distinction between man and animal. In the article I was reading they quoted the philosopher Emmanuel Kant:
“Heaven has given human beings three things to balance the odds of life: hope, sleep, and laughter.”
When we are going through a difficult time, it’s good to meet with a friend that listens to you and helps you see the positive side of things because remember, from the biggest problems often come the biggest opportunities. I have a friend who tells me every time we get together, “Rosa, I love being with you, you always give off a lot of positive energy.”
Well, this month I’ve made the decision to smile more. It will be my personal daily challenge. But it has to be a smile from my heart, nothing fake. Your face is often the reflection of your soul and your smile can often show it most clearly. Let’s see if my followers can hold me accountable and make sure I fulfill my goal for this month!
I loved reading that on one occasion Mother Teresa of Calcutta once spoke at a convention of businessmen in America and one of them asked her, “What can I do with my employees during times of conflict or tension?” She responded with a very simple answer: “Simply smile.”
This answer is easily transferrable to my family and home. What can I do with my children in times of…? “Simply smile,” I think.
I love to be with my children around the table after dinner, laughing together as a family.
Smiling is free, it lengthens your life and improves the quality of your life as well. I love seeing my aunts that are older than 90 always smiling and never complaining. Even my children tell me about it. What a joy to reach that age and know how to smile and laugh at the little gifts that life gives you every day.
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on October 12th, 2018.