Smile Experiment

“And Love is reflected in love…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

I’ve been wanting to share this experience, but I haven’t been sure how to go about it without looking like I am full of myself or something. So maybe I should start this post in this way: I am nothing special to look at –  I am a stubby middle-aged woman, generally seen in schleppy clothes and walking shoes when I’m out running errands. I might have been called “pretty” when I was younger – but these days I look more like Cinderella’s fairy godmother than Cinderella. And I’m cool with that.

So a few months ago, on my lunch break at work, I put on my old walking shoes and ambled down into town in quest of something to eat. I don’t remember now what I was thinking about as I was walking, but it must have been something happy because I, apparently, had a smile on my face. A young man, approaching from the other direction, said he’d seen the smile on my face from a block away. He said  he’d felt himself pulled to me so he could wish me a good day and let me know that my smile had put him in a good mood.

Isn’t that neat? 🙂

I thought of that experience again last week when I was grocery-shopping at the local supermarket. I was in a funk when I began my shopping. I no longer recall what had put me in this funk, but I remember feeling really tired and cranky. Coincidentally, everyone else I encountered seemed to be feeling less than jolly, too. As I rounded an aisle I saw a woman whose face looked particularly drawn and tired. My heart went out to her and I found myself summoning a smile for her. As soon as she saw my smile, she returned a dazzling one back to me. I could see the lines on her face literally lifting in front of my eyes. I felt the lines on my own face lifting, too.

I still had the smile on my face when a man turned his cart into my aisle and glanced my direction. And now HIS face turned up into a friendly grin. I decided to keep the smile on my face as I continued with my shopping – sort of conducting an informal experiment. And, sure enough, just as I had predicted would happen, every single person I encountered whilst wearing my smile, smiled back at me in a friendly, cheerful way. It was like magic.

I think people WANT to be nice to each other, you know. I think they’re looking for an opportunity to smile at other people and be kind to them – even stubby, middle-aged ladies.

But I should probably do a lot more smile experimentation to make sure my hypothesis is correct, right? 🙂

“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
– Mary Baker Eddy


Groucho Karen





6 thoughts on “Smile Experiment

  1. Karen,
    Saying thank you works well too. Every time I meet new foster parents I thank them profusely for their willingness to help these kids. Genuine appreciation goes a long ways toward building friendships and it is always reciprocated in kind. Just keep smiling Karen and wear the hat! It suits you to a T.
    Guy Horst

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s