I'm about to get super cliche. If you're not up for it, I suggest you stop reading right here.
As I was driving today, I flicked through the radio stations per usual and was struck by a duet that sounded as if it were being sung by the stars of Kidz Bop. Childish voices aside, the lyrics to the chorus were "something something You smile, I smile." And there were some other words in there, but I don't remember them. Now, I can't tell you if this song is new or old or what, but I had never heard it before and it made me think of the following things:
1. How refreshing it is to hear a song about young love that DOESN'T induce images of teenagers who aren't leaving room for the Holy Spirit OR oxygen molecules. Maybe these parts were included in the verse, who's to say, but the chorus was just that sweet line over and over and over again...
2. (Here's where I'm really packing the punch) What a true sentiment! And I think that despite its pop song origin, it really hits at something that is so innate in people. How often do you scowl at someone who genuinely smiles at you? It's basically an involuntary reaction to smile back. And initiating the smile is a little like saying, "You. You exist in the world, and I acknowledge your humanity as a good thing." This is why even when I'm having a bad day, and I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, I still try to smile at people. Because as someone famous who's escaping my mind once said, "Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I figure it's the least I can do to show my empathy for the battles that others are fighting. I know I can use all the help I can get with mine.
So, smile at your friends and family. Smile at your neighbors. Smile at strangers. Smile at your co-workers, the grocery check-out lady and the mailman. And remember, kids, "You smile, I smile."