Friday, October 1, 2010

If You Just Smile

If we were asked to name a familiar artist,
all of us would recognize Van Gogh's Sunflowers,

da Vinci's Mona Lisa,

and possibly Warhol's famous
Campbell's Tomato Soup print.

But, does the name Harvey Bell sound familiar?

It should.

He is the artist that created this:

Harvey Bell was a commercial artist
who introduced this popular icon in 1963.

Although it soon became over-commercialized,
Bell fought to bring the original meaning
back to his Smiley Face.
So he declared the first Friday in October
as World Smile Day.

Bell thought we should all devote
at least one day a year
to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.

I can't wait to tell that lady at the bank.

I don't think that old sourpuss has smiled
since she lost her first baby tooth.

Or the rude dude that packs my groceries
like he's practicing Punch Out
on my Wonder Bread.

Sometimes I wonder why it's so
consistently difficult for some people to smile.
Sure, there may be sadness in their lives,
but we've all faced those heartaches.

I've lost my parents
and in-laws
and fifteen favorite pets-
but it didn't break my "smiler".

There are days when my feet hurt,
my back is breaking,
my reflection is horrifying,
and my bank account is overdrawn.
But, I still manage to smile.

I have always believed that a positive expression
can do wonders for the heart.

One important lesson I've learned in life
is that you are in charge of your happiness.
You can choose to be happy-
(no matter the circumstances) -
Or you can waste the moments of your short life
being grumpy and resentful
and frown forever.

You have to make your life a positive circle.

I admit that I'm very bias
when it comes to
who I let in my circle
and who I keep out.
Too much drama and conflict
and permanent pity
drains your life.

I like smiles.
It says to me that the person
is thankful for life-
for every day joys-
for seeing the best of situations
and being able to filter out the adverse and evil.

It's not always easy.

Putting on shoes every morning,
washing dirty dishes,
paying the electric bill,
cleaning the fridge,
wiping down the toilet.
and facing the old bitty at the bank
is not easy either.

But facing those situations with a smile
sure can make the drudgery
a bit more pleasant.

Smiles are contagious.
There are days when tears have been
balancing on the brim of my eyes-
just waiting to roll down like
the burst of a mighty dam.

But then,
people around me smiled.

Maybe giggled a little.
And my tears curled back inside
and never fell.

Bell had a great idea
and created a simple picture to convey it.

The motto of World Smile Day is:
"Do an act of kindness.  Help one person smile."

Well, I hope I've done my part.