Smiles and Welcome

As I get older, there seem to be fewer and fewer ideas, beliefs, and truths that are universal. There seem to be more areas in life that are in the grey, that change depending on how one looks at them. For the most part, I suppose, this is seen to be a good thing. That it is a natural and decent progression from black and white ideas to understanding context and nuance. For the most part, I agree. But I am happy that there are somethings that are universal:

A smile is the universal welcome. Max Eastman

Smiling is one of those expressions that appears to be universal. It meant welcome when I was five and will mean welcome when I’m scores older than five. I think about smiling a lot, probably because I’m a librarian (in addition to many other things), and we think about how we can be welcoming a lot. A smile is one of the easiest ways to be welcoming.

Also, I find it fascinating that your body doesn’t discern the difference between what we think of as a true smile and a fake smile. If you move your muscles to smile, your body will produce the same chemicals either way to make you feel better. And I think that is a universally wonderful thing. That we can make ourselves feel just a bit better, just by smiling.

So I hope that this week you find welcome where you go. That you find someone who smiles so it reaches their eyes and their hearts when they see you. And that you find reasons to smile not because anyone tells you, too, but because your cheeks will just burst if you don’t from happiness. That’s my smiling wish for you. 🙂