Some of you may already know where I'm going with this because you might have seen the video of Guar Gopal Das, the lifestyle guru. For those of you that have not seen the video, I want you to take a few moments here to brainstorm what you think may be the answer to my riddle: What is the most pleasing five-letter word in the English language? I'll give you some time to think about it... Any luck? I'll tell you right now it's not 'money'! No body enjoys paying taxes do they? Have you ever done your taxes with a smile on your face and thought, "This is GREAT!" Doubtful.. The correct answer is: 'SMILE' :D
The funny thing about it is that most people don't understand the value behind something so simple as a smile. I mean, why should anyone care if I smile at them? They don't know me. They don't owe me anything. To that concern, I want to tell you all a story that was told to me when I was in Junior High School. I was at an assembly and a middle-aged gentleman came on stage and the first thing he said was, "I want you all right now to look at the person to your left and right and greet them with the biggest smile you can possibly give, even if you don't know them." Doesn't seem like much right? Well I didn't know a single person around me in Junior High... I had recently moved to a new school and didn't have many friends, so when I smiled at that strange kid next to me, AND I got a smile in return, it made me feel like I wasn't alone in a school full of strangers anymore.
The speaker went on during the assembly to tell this story of a man who had lived his whole life in Daly City California. He worked in a small butcher shop for the last 15+ years of his life, he lives alone, and recently had lost both his parents to old age. One day this man was feeling very low on himself and couldn't seem to pick himself up out of this sullen mood, so he decided to leave a note on his table and go for a walk. He walked all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge from Daly City; that is nearly a 10 mile walk that took him over 3.5 hours to complete mind you.. After he had reached his destination, he climbed the rail and jumped in the icy water below and was found a few days later on the shore; he died. Upon further investigation, the police found the note he left on his table before he began his long, arduous journey. It read: If one single person is to smile, wave, or say "hello" to me by the time I get to the Golden Gate Bridge, I won't go through with it.
Now I didn't tell you this story to make you feel bad; far from it! I told you that story so that you could see another perspective; everyone is going through their own internal conflicts. Sometimes we just want to be reassured that everything will be okay in the end with a simple smile. It truly is contagious! The interesting thing is, when you smile, not only do you get to send some happiness in someone else's direction, but you also get to create happiness within yourself. If you're having a rough day and you're reading this, a smile can actually tell your brain to release those "happy chemicals" (serotonin and dopamine) to create the feeling of happiness. If you haven't done so today, smile. Then, pass it on to someone else. You never know what the next person is going through, so do what little things you can to make their day go a little smoother (hold the door open for someone, let a car merge in your lane, pass for the car's order behind you, etc.) and you may just save someone's life :D