If there is one thing that our current circumstances are teaching us is that we have taken our basic freedom for granted for far too long. Like the freedom to freely smile and laugh – without literally (and metaphorically, if you like) wearing our masks. Seems like such a long time ago, no? Perhaps, these are those times that Charles Dickens so aptly put -“the best of times and the worst of times.” Best of times, as it has got us to think about all the small but significant things that we need to be grateful for. Like the ability to smile, be smiled at, have a reason, or even not smile!
So this got me thinking, what can I do to try and quietly put a smile on someone’s face? The only time I get to see people (some of them) is when I go for a short walk or run, and today I decided to smile at strangers along my route. I was wearing my mask, and while I made eye contact with many on the street, I didn’t expect them to see me smiling through my mask – BUT many did!! And they reciprocated. How amazing is that! For the eyes to relay what the face cannot! As I bumped into the same faces on my second or third lap- they smiled back- small but profound joys.
The best example has been my one year old who has just learned to walk. I take him for a short stroll in the enclosed garden of my building. He has no clue why there are fewer kids about, and yet, he freely ambles across the green, shouting gleefully, “yah! yah!” to anyone and everyone ! And he inevitably makes puts a smile on faces known and unknown.