Sunday, April 3, 2016
Snopes.com says it takes 13 muscles to smile and 33 muscles to frown. Maybe the reason people don't smile is because they are allergic to muscle use. However, I have a neighbor who works at a gym and he never smiles. Guess he is wanting to use more muscles to frown, get his face squats in!
Some people walk around frowning at the whole world. Why? Do I frown? Yes. Sometimes, I catch myself frowning and don't even realize how I let all of those 33 muscles bench press my smile! Give that back! We're on the rowing machine...smiling!
It's even better when as I smile, I can help others to smile. One time in a long line, I started talking with my neighbors. Soon, all of us were smiling; and, I think the line started moving faster! There was one grouchy woman who told me she didn't have anything to be happy about. I pointed out the fact that she was now the first person in line. She looked around amazed at how she had moved forward in life, even if it was just a line at the courthouse.
I have been known to put a broad smile on my 90 year old neighbor's face by sharing whatever sweet I have cooked. Today, I have made brownies. My Gabe will run across the street and knock on the door. My neighbor will answer with some funny statement and an offer to visit. Gabe will give him the wrapped brownies with a declaration as to what's inside the parcel. My neighbor will smile this deep smile he's been expressing all these 90 years. He will move the toothpick in his mouth to the other corner as he shuffles forward to take the brownies from the hands of my son. He will smile with a twinkle in his clear blue eyes and tell Gabe to tell me to keep sending him good things. He will turn to his 89 year old wife and laugh at how he gets an extra sweet for the day. Makes me smile thinking about it.
I guess smiling comes from joy. Joy doesn't have to be mega millions large. Joy can come from a peaceful feeling inside our hearts; a warm cup of coffee with some squirrels; asking for help; giving assistance without any expected reward; a job well done; a kiss; a laugh. Joy can sneak up on us and cause those miraculous 13 muscles to stretch our lips into an upward curve that radiates an infection to anyone watching. Go infect someone! Smile, and help someone else to smile along with you! Soon, you might just belt out a laugh!