Posted October 24, 2021
Originally posted August 12, 2004
“ . . . Kindness in your eyes, I guess you heard me cry, You smiled at me, Like, Jesus to a child . . .”
From Jesus To A Child by George Michael
A smile is an interesting thing. They can show kindness, love, “realness”, sincerity. Certain kinds of smiles can even betray evilness, hostility, and insincerity – kind of like those given by politicians, car salespeople, televangelists and J.R. Ewing.
I always love watching little kids’ reactions to smiles – whether they are smiles on my face or a smile given by someone else. Kids just seem to get it. They can seem to sense realness or insincerity; love or fear; fun or boredom.
When the smile is mine and child receives it, smiles back and accepts me as someone friendly, I can think of no other compliment or honor to receive. In a world so cold and with people so hostile toward kids, I want to be one of those who smiles and, in turn, brings a smile to their faces.
The same goes with adults. However, the challenge is much greater. As adults, we’ve learned to be suspicious and untrusting – especially of politicians, car salespeople, and televangelists.
But I digress.
But why does our radar flare up when someone we don’t know smiles at us? When did a smile become first interpreted as being insincere until proven sincere? When did we become so cynical?
I read where Jesus Christ focused on children in some of his teachings – pulling them to him, admonishing the people to not harm them, even encouraging them to become as children in their hearts. I have to think that he smiled as he pulled the children to him. They obviously trusted him because there is nothing recorded of them running and screaming, “Stranger Danger!”
There was a mutual trust and connection made and I honestly believe that there was a genuine smile involved.
I hope that we can all come to a place in our lives that we can genuinely, perpetually, and sincerely smile, – to friends and strangers alike – and it positively impacts those we give the smile to. I don’t mean faking a smile. I mean smiles that are real – that is conveyed from our innermost being.
If we can do so to at least one person we come in contact with each day, I can’t help but think that, in doing so, we just might brighten that persons day just when they thought there isn’t any sunshine in their life.