le forever pasted on your face for the lowly or go to extreme lengths to be the do-gooder. We live in a society where everyone is wary of their neighbour and for good reason too. The many stories of man’s inhumanity to his neighbor are enough to kill any communal bones in our bodies. But it doesn't hurt to offer a smile in certain circumstances. It doesn’t generally have to be the lowly or less-privileged, even a harassed or worried looking individual next to you on the queue in the banking hall could perk up with just a smile from you.
I took time out today to notice how my attitude affected others (needless to say I was in a very hearty mood for no reason, which tends to happen once in a blue moon). With less than N2000 to my name at that point I still took the time to say the usual ‘well done oh’ or at least pass a smile to few people on the streets; from the bank to the market. And the looks of surprised pleasure they returned were enough to keep my mood going strong. I even got offered a free ride (which I turned down of course; I’m not naive enough to believe that ulterior motives may or may not have existed). Everyone has problems and ‘to each his own’ is our daily mantra. But haven’t you notice how the world seems a bit better or the day brighter when a stranger directly or indirectly makes you laugh? It doesn’t even have to be someone of the opposite sex (note how wary we ladies are of strange men), it could be another woman or even a kid. Life is hard but we should strive to make it beautiful by looking for happiness at every turn and in every situation. Whether we believe it or not, we’re all connected in one way or another; the banker who takes care of our finances, the street cleaner who keeps our environment livable, even the beggar reminds us to praise God for blessing us with what we have! So I reckon a little smile from you would at least serve as payment in return for their indirect albeit positive impact in your life.
No one is solely responsible for his/her fortune, of course the choices you make in your life go a long way towards determining your future but there’s also a reason why words such as ‘Fate’ and ‘Luck’ exist (wink). The next time you’re taking a walk in your neighborhood or your nanny’s down with the flu, a little smile or ‘sorry dear’ from you might just make someone’s day and if it does isn't that an unselfish enough reason to smile? We each know our daily emotional struggles but we don’t stop to consider that the next person might be going through that as well and realise how someone else’s smile or funny chit chat with us would have made us happier when we were down. There are times we let even our friends down without knowing (like the time when they didn’t get that job they wanted after getting to the final interview and all we kept doing was yap about our gorgeous boyfriend..), when all they needed was a hug and a smile. We’re all so into ourselves nowadays which is no surprise considering how earlier generations had to go through being forced by society to give all of themselves to others while putting what’s best for you first was considered the height of being selfish! Now we all know that if you don’t love yourself, no one else will, but as they say too much of everything spoils the broth and you could just end up self-absorbed. So there has to be a balance, and the only way to achieve that is to take the time to find out what’s wrong or right with your brother, sister, friend etc. and offer a smile to that sad -looking girl in the shop. I won’t even go into the benefits of smiling for your health but as they say it takes less facial muscles to smile than frown. There are people all around us every day and we somehow seem to forget that but the next time you’re out and do remember that they are people too with their individual problems, offer that megawatt smile of yours in exchange for a look of surprised pleasure and we just might start working towards a better society; it only has to start with you.