My son woke bleary-eyed and sat up in bed. The morning light muted by the cardboard box that serves as a curtain in our bedroom glowed across his sleepy features. I rushed to him and swiftly laid him back down and prepared myself to feed him back to sleep. He stretched contentedly as his head reached the sheet. He peered at me through those half focused blue eyes and my heart filled with maternal warmth. A smile just naturally came to my face. I wasn't expecting anything from him but as he saw his beloved mother smiling upon him he returned the favor. His cute little mouth lifted at both sides and he gave me a smile.
I thought subhanAllah a simple thing can mean so much. It is narrated from the Prophet, Sallahu Alayhi wa Salaam, that even a smile to someone is a charity. It can turn even the grumpiest person's face into pleasantness. A smile is the first thing a parent searches to find in it's baby's expression. Usually in sleep a baby will fleetingly smile. The parent exclaims "Oh! Did you see how cute that was! She smiled!" And thereafter will take great pains to watch the child while it sleeps to catch another fleeting smile. Once it learns how to smile in the day Parents go to great lengths to keep their beloved child smiling.
Customer Service is nothing without a smiling representative. How many times have you been off put from a company because their representative had a sour disposition? That of course goes with people too. When you meet someone for the first time you take in their general character from their face and usually if they aren't smiling it puts you a tad bit off.
Smiles light up the face especially warm smiles that make the eyes glow as well.
I love it when niqabis take off their niqabs in private and I'm able to see their full face including their smiles. It really changes the whole way I feel about them and interact with them. When I wear niqab and I'm in Private I prefer to lift it because I feel I can't converse properly without them seeing my full expressions. I want them to see they have filled me with happiness.
Even between husband and wives some people forget to smile. It can really change a tense situation into a more relaxed one. Sometimes one doesn't know if another is joking when they say something but if they say it with a smile the meaning will be clear.
Not only it cheers up other people but it cheers yourself up too. Many doctors say that even if you are depressed and deeply unhappy just smiling can cheer you up. It is a beautiful moment when you see or hear something that you like and a smile just springs up out of nowhere. I really love these moments.
Everyone is attracted to smiling people. It's rare you see a Hollywood Star posing with a grumpy frown. They save those pictures for the tabloids. Why, because they know smiling will attract more people to themselves and make them more likable.
Haven't you seen those old fashioned photos of people looking dourly at the camera and they stood stern. Didn't you think they were a bunch of unhappy uptight crotchety people? Compared to modern times where it is almost mandatory to capture people happy. Everyone knows the phrase, "Say Cheese!" They even have these cameras now that will only click when someone is smiling in the camera. I tested them out at a mall in Dubai it was amazing. A hint of a smile and flash it went off.
So I think a smile is one of the most important gifts you can give someone. I try every morning to wake my kids up with a cheerful smile and it makes them feel happy and they are all smiles for a few hours.
A smile is not just a smile, it's charity.