The old, often-covered standard “When You’re Smiling” popped into my head this morning while the coffee brewed.
“When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling
The whole world smiles with you
When you’re laughing, when you’re laughing
The sun comes shining through”
–1928 by Larry Shay, Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin
I look forward to giving and receiving smiles each day. My grandparents often complimented my smiles, so did the school teachers. Perhaps they did this to reinforce my smile habit, or maybe smiling is just an inborn personality trait. All I know for sure is that I smile at nearly everyone I meet, friends and strangers alike. It’s just a habit.
This same habit is present in my friend Jonathan. I’ve observed his interactions with other people. He never fails to share smiles with people. Even though Jonathan works in retail, his smile is not the salesman’s smile. His dad, Jonathan Senior, tells me that his son “has always been the most cheerful one of the litter”. The dad says his son smiled a lot even when he reached the stage when most teens are very sullen. It barely needs mentioning that Jonathan, Junior is a very popular young man.
“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.”–Leonardo da Vinci
Most people find it easy to love a woman or a man who has a happy demeanor and who has innate intelligence. There is something about this combination that makes people feel safe. When the smile is authentically from the core, people intuit the smile is a manifestation of confidence and independence. This type of smile is sexy in a kind-hearted way.
Another person who seemed to always smile was my one of my great-aunt Bettys. There were two aunt Betty’s. The extended family nicknamed them Norman’s Betty and Ivan’s Betty. Norman’s Betty was the serious Betty. At a crucial time in my life, it was Ivan’s Betty who fulfilled the role of surrogate mom. Betty will forever be remembered as a woman who smiled and laughed with everyone. With the exception of my birth-mom, Betty was the only other woman who could bring out the “real” me. She did so with her disarming smiles.
I’ve determined that my ticket to the world has been the smile. That means taking care of my teeth and gums. I visit the dentist three times per year. Also, I alternate brands of toothpaste and toothbrushes. I usually brush after each meal and snack. After all, teeth are an integral part of an authentic smile.
Few things in life are as valuable as freely shared smiles. I’m glad the old song came to mind today as a reminder.