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mental health

When You’re Smiling, the Whole World Smiles With You

There is nothing more beautiful to me than a sincere smile.

I’ll never forget a story my friend Lynn once told me of the most beautiful woman she’d ever met in her life. Lynn said that when she first met the woman, all she saw was a scarred and weathered old face, but then the woman smiled, and the entire room lit up.

I am a collector of smiles. And, as such, I can be quite judgmental regarding their sincerity.

Take this photo of Donald Trump taken by Alex Brandon for AP.

Donald Trump

That’s not a sincere smile. Actually, I register this as more a look of contempt. I don’t think I’ve seen a photo of Trump actually smiling.

How about this photo of Ted Cruz?


I can spot a fake smile in a photo, be it posted on a billboard or a Facebook post. The eyes are more open than they would be. The mouth is purposely open to show teeth. But mostly, it’s the emotional response I have to photos such as these. I don’t feel a sense of warmth. There’s no connection.

Compare those two photos to this one:


found at GreenGoldGhana.com

Big difference, isn’t there? Even though these children live halfway around the world, this photo invites me to share in their joy. There is communion.

One of the things I miss most about Rumpy and DeDe are their smiles. They were the happiest of dogs and brought a sense of joy to me even when life seemed so hard.

Smiling is one of the easiest things you can do to make your corner of the world a better place. Not only will you feel better, but so will others who experience your smile. So what have you got to lose?

Next time you’re out, smile at strangers and see how many smile back. I’ll bet it happens more than you expect.  It’s a moment to share with another person in a world that has become far too lonely.

About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


13 thoughts on “When You’re Smiling, the Whole World Smiles With You

  1. People always smile back, even if they realize what they are doing and go back to looking stern.

    Posted by Bernadette | July 15, 2018, 1:24 PM
  2. A sincere smile warms my heart!

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | July 15, 2018, 1:29 PM
  3. My husband, who spent his working life in front of a camera, taught me The Fake Smile. So now, I can do it. I can smile for anyone, at any time. But you are right. You can always tell the difference. You can also FEEL the difference.

    Posted by Marilyn Armstrong | July 15, 2018, 1:32 PM
  4. I am one of those people who virtually bonds/makes a friend, literally everywhere I go. (Sometimes I hate it lol)…I have always been a “smiley” sort………..kinda like a dolphin lol

    Posted by caren gittleman | July 15, 2018, 3:06 PM
  5. Yeah, I prefer the third example for sure. I miss Rumpy and I only saw his picture in post form. Definately miss Jamima still. Cheers,H

    Posted by helentastic67 | July 16, 2018, 6:53 AM
  6. You’ve moved a bit – did you find some areas have more smilie people than others. We did.
    Love the Collector of Smiles title – suits you

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | July 18, 2018, 2:37 PM
  7. I, too, am good at spotting whether or not someone is really smiling. And we miss seeing DeDe’s and Rumpy’s genuine smiles, too.

    Posted by meowmeowmans | July 18, 2018, 10:32 PM

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