The Smile

(By Jaime Sevilla, MAPM, M.Th)

It is the openness to others, the reflection of joy and peace that we carry within us that transcends the barriers of race, society, economic, religious position, etc. The smile expresses the kindness and education of a person; the smile, when it comes from the heart, shows the peace and happiness with which a human being lives. The smile is an antidote to bring down apathy, bad mood, and often mistrust.

Many times we only love people who get angry at others, and when one meets the person who is angry and gives him or her a smile it may be more than enough to break down the barrier of pride and regain that relationship of love or friendship.

The smile opens the doors of communication to others, both of the provider and the recipient. The smile is also a sign of kindness. When we go to an unknown place and suddenly we find someone who greets us with a smile, we say, “How kind is that person”, “I like him or her”, etc.

But the smile, when not born from the heart, does not always have this meaning. Sometimes there are people who smile at you hypocritically, just for others to see that they are kind; but in reality they do it in contempt, since when they turn around they speak badly of the people to whom they smiled.

In schools, many times, the smile of some come from bullies to show contempt or rejection towards other students, which is unfortunate, but it happens.
Other times, a smile can be misleading in its interpretation. Sometimes, the smile of kindness can be interpreted as an interesting smile, when in reality it is not. An example is a girl who smiles at a boy.

He may think that she likes him as a man, when in fact the girl is doing it because he’s kind. But there is also the opposite, many times a woman or a man gives a flirtatious smile to the other to communicate that he/she likes or is interested in him/her.

How to determine when a smile is out of kindness or interest? When the smile comes in a simple and spontaneous way, and the attitude that follows it is respectful, always keeping a distance, it is a smile of kindness, of education.

While, if a person’s smile is more constant and flirtatious, then it means that it is a smile that is sending a message of interest. Now, if that smile is reciprocated in the same way, you can have a relationship of love or friendship.
Today, there is another type of smile that is given for commitment, for respect or correspondence towards the other person, for education.
There is also a smile that is often feigned or forced. You must smile because it is a way to bring joy to others, even if inside the person carries sadness, pain, suffering, etc.

For example, the clown’s smile. He knows he has to smile, most of the time, because he needs to make a living that way. Only he knows the inner reality that he lives, but he has to reflect joy towards others so that others feel pleased with his work.

In the spiritual life, the smile is the light of the soul; a religious person who gives a smile that springs from the heart. It reflects peace, goodness, serenity, trust, respect, love; in a word, it reflects in his whole being the presence of God.

My dear friends, do not let our problems and difficulties steal our smile, since it is the way we free ourselves from all those situations that often complicate our lives.

Let’s look for ways that make us always laugh; let’s look for people who reflect their joy through a smile; let’s look to God so that our life is always filled with joy and happiness, so we will spread that joy of Christ to all those around us.