Smile - Our VIP Pass

Share your smile with the world. It is a symbol of friendship and peace.

- Christie Brinkley

One late summer evening in Rome the sky was pink and orange and my girlfriend and I were walking the streets of the ancient town that resembled a movie scenery. We walked through the mouth-watering aromas that spread from the tables of numerous restaurants we walked by where people sat enjoying their meals. I remember us laughing and laughing and it seemed as if we walked on clouds of joy. The restaurants’ terraces were crowded and although we didn’t find a free table we could take nothing could ruin our good mood.

Although we wanted to enjoy a real Italian dinner we decided to go home to our rented apartment and buy some groceries in the shop across the street and prepare the dinner ourselves inspired by the ideas we got along the way. We hailed a taxi, sat in it but after a few meters it had to stop on the red traffic light. At that moment a young woman approached my window banging on it and giving me signs to open it. I opened the car window and she gave me a small paper saying that she got it from someone and she had an impulse to pass it on to me. The traffic light turned green and the driver drove away and I opened the piece of paper to see what it was. It said:

Your smile is beautiful, never stop smiling

Every time we smile a wide range of positive circumstances occur – firstly, our smile is a sign of benevolence and acceptance and that we are friendly to people around us and our bodies are flushed with a range of beneficial neuropeptides (chemical neural messengers that facilitate the communication between neurons – these are dopamine, endorphin, and serotonin). They decrease stress, calm the heart, stabilize the blood pressure and improve our mood.

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In 2016. a study of nonverbal communication found that people have more confidence in people who are smiling than in those who are not. A smile is associated with honesty and accessibility. People who often smile are considered more amicable, more competent and more attractive. Also, it was found that people smile more often when they are in company or in public than when they are alone what connects the smile with communicativeness and also that women smile more often than men.

Culturally speaking the smile resonates throughout the history of humanity from the ancient Greek sculptures 2500 years ago till the today’s emoji smileys that became almost a standard in modern texting and e-mail communication. As an example, the most popular word in 2015 by the Oxford’s Dictionary was a smiley with tears of joy.

All this is why a smile is like a VIP pass that opens every door. A smile opens the hearts of people and contagiously evokes the same reaction in people. It is the best piece of clothing you can wear, it doesn’t cost a thing and like a domino effect, it brings a lot of good consequences.

-  Andja Maric

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