“Takk,” said the sweet Icelandic man. The American lady was wondering why the man was asking her to talk. How would she know that was the word for ‘thank you’ in Icelandic?
6,900 different languages are spoken across the world. That makes it 6,900 different ways of saying something as simple as ‘thank you’. Our linguistic diversity makes communication seem very complicated and prone to misunderstandings.
But one thing common for everybody is a smile. A smile is understood by everyone, regardless of culture, race or religion. Everybody perceives it as something positive. Be it extending a warm hand of friendship to the shy girl next door, the smile of embarrassment when our car stops in the middle of the road or expressing heartfelt gratitude to the sweet aunty who does our laundry, a smile conveys it all. In a tense situation like being stuck with identifying the left recurrent laryngeal nerve, an apologetic smile saves us from the table teacher’s deadly wrath. Peace between a naughty kid and a strict mother begins with a cute toothless smile. That one simple gesture is equivalent to a thousand words left unspoken.
Smiling is not only an involuntary response to seeing a cute little baby playing with its mother. It’s the curve that makes us look more runway model-like to the people we are smiling at, perfect teeth or not. To a nervous kid, it is the best reassurance before a singing competition. To a lonely person, it is a comforting hug. To a depressed soul, it is an urge to leave behind all the sadness and start enjoying life. To a terribly homesick roomie, a sweet good morning smile is a consolation.
Smiling is contagious, spreading happiness like a wildfire. Natural human tendency is to trust a person who smiles more. Our whole nation followed the footsteps of Gandhiji, one of the best leaders in the history of mankind, whose most powerful weapon was a broad smile.
Smile because nothing can shake a smiling heart. Smile because your smile has the capacity to light up the whole world like a gigantic nuclear power plant. Smile because it steals somebody’s breath away, like Tom Cruise’s dimpled smile. Smile because it has the potential to turn a distressed person’s life around. Spread joy all across because smiling costs nothing!
The first Friday of October is celebrated as the World Smile Day every year. So flex the muscles near both the ends of your mouth, plague the world with your beautiful smiles, tomorrow and forever!!
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