«A smile costs little and produces much,» said English filmmaker Charles Chaplin, who managed to become one of the most famous comic actors on the planet. «The smile is the general language of intelligent men,» said Spanish playwright Victor Ruiz, who deserved the National Theater Award, in addition to plays translated into several languages, even used as textbooks in his country.
«More than the lighting of the face, the smile is also the heating of the heart,» said writer Barbara Johnson, and more than five million copies of her books have been distributed in the United States.
Every year, on the first Friday of October, many celebrate World Smile Day. It all starts with the famous Smiley face iconographic symbol that we use so much. In 1999 its creator, Harvey Ball, decided to proclaim this date designed «to be happy and bring joy to others, even if only for a day».
And that makes me think of so many people who can’t find the strength to smile right now. A sudden loss, a painful ailment or an increasingly unbearable need, can stealthily extinguish our smile. Because it is no secret that this gesture of light often turns into a shadowy grimace when it is not accompanied by a true impulse.
However, for Chaplin, Ruiz and Johnson there was no shortage of moments of poverty, pain or illness, but they still decided to share that spark that managed to light up the faces of others.
According to science, smiling releases cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits: lower blood pressure, increased stamina, reduced pain and a stronger immune system. This is what Chaplin meant when he said that «it relieves tiredness and comforts sadness.
Maybe these days some of us have found it a little difficult to smile. It is enough that of our reasons to be happy, at least one of them is broken, so that it is not the same happy face that returns to us in the mirror. But, memories sometimes surprise us and it is possible that even there in the most hidden, we find that smile that now we are missing, a smile alive as the morning light, sweet and hopeful.
It is no less true what King Solomon wrote, «a cheerful heart is a good remedy», or the sentence of Teresa of Calcutta, «peace begins with a smile». Therefore, this first Friday of October, it would be good to pause the difficulties and smile at others. Who knows, maybe others could erase the sadness by remembering your magical smile.
Written by Jeidi Suárez García.