The Gift of a Smile in the Time of COVID

Genuine smiles are sometimes hard to come by. Add to that the events in our recent history (election, riots, mobs, CoronaVirus, work despair, school closures, home life disruptions), and smiling almost becomes a past sport. So what is the purpose of writing about smiling?

Prior to our health crisis, smiles were forced (i.e., most portrait smiles), cajoled (i.e., movie screen smiles), manipulated (i.e., political smiles), or genuine (i.e., pure joy and laughter smiles). Now, all smiles have been made “equal” because they have been hidden under masks.

And yet, genuine smiles leak out of the sides of our facial coverings. They can be seen in the depths of the smilers’ eyes, the crinkles around their eyes, and the raising of their eyebrows. They can be heard in the voice and they can be intuited by the feeling of mirth generated by the smiler.

And they are a gift.

The smiles of others gift us with hope.

They gift us with a lightness of spirit.

They gift us with the knowledge that perhaps others have gone through what we are going through and tomorrow may be a much better day.

But only genuine smiles. Smiles that light up the face and welcome us into their presence.

And that’s a good thing. The conniving, manipulative, and false smiles can no longer be seen. They have disappeared because they cannot be viewed, heard, or felt as genuine smiles can be.

And that makes me smile…