As you begin your day, in the lift, off to work, caffeine in hand and eyes still dreary with stress and head in turmoil over work anxiety, one thing that can bring comfort and make you feel better is a smile - much under-rated but a sure shot remedy to make somebody feel great!
World Smile Day celebrated on the first Friday of October, encourages you to take action to bring a few more smiles into the world. Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, created one of the most iconic symbols the world had ever seen, it was a simple sketch, a circle with a few dots and an upturned curve, but put together and it would quickly come to infect everything from graffiti to modern day emojis. Yes, the smiley face, arguably the first emoji to enter the world. Harvey later expressed his concern that the sheer commercialisation of his little symbol would strip it of its original intent and meaning. It was out of this concern that he initiated World Smile Day, a day devoted to the spreading of simple joy and love to everyone, regardless of race, gender, or geographic location.
Harvey sadly passed away in 2001, but the foundation he helped create, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation, has carried forth his message of simple peace and love as the sponsor of World Smile Day every year. Whether you’re simply cracking a silly joke or doing a small act of kindness to help someone smile, World Smile Day is your opportunity to help brighten the world and make the world a better place through the simple power of the smile.
This is the Year of Giving, so why don’t we begin with giving somebody a reason to smile, whether it’s just a simple compliment, a hug, or a gift of something small to help brighten the day? The world is rife with so much of negativity that we have forgotten to smile. Our Gozilla-sized ego comes into play and deters many of us from smiling at even our neighbours.
Even trivial things like a budding baby leaf on my potted money plant, a little baby pigeon learning to fly away from its nest, in my balcony and then successfully flutters its wings and takes off to touch the sky, a single run scored by my son in a cricket match are things that give me a reason to smile.
So let’s pledge to embrace the little pleasures of the worlds and gift a smile to at least one person a day. Let’s judge less, smile more and spread peace and happiness around!
- The reader is a writer based in Dubai