Smile a while and give your face a rest.
Wave your hand to the one you love the best.
Then shake hands with those nearby and greet them with a smile.
If one Sunday morning you find yourself at the little country church where my Papa preaches, you’ll hear this song. The piano will twang along and the people will sing whole-heartedly, not worrying about how they sound. There’s something special in those little churches that big churches lose somewhere along the way. There’s also something special about being greeted with a smile. It not only makes an impression on people, it just makes you both feel better.
Last week I rushed into Walgreens right before they closed. I always feel bad when I walk in at the very last second because I remember being that person behind the counter who is silently cursing the person that walks in at closing time. I rushed to grab what I needed and then headed to the checkout. Scrambling for my debit card, I didn’t even look the cashier in the eye. But all of a sudden she said, “I remember you. You’re the one who waved and smiled and said ‘Good morning’.” I looked up at her, a smile now dancing on my face. I was. I am! It was me, the one who waved and smiled and said, “Good morning.” And I’d completely forgotten about it until that moment. But she hadn’t. And that made me happy.
Earlier in the week I’d walked in while the entire Walgreens staff was huddled in the front of the store having a meeting. When I walked in I was greeted with a plethora of “Welcome to Walgreen”s – a habit for many of them, I’m sure. And, without even thinking about it, I made a huge (and I do mean huge) circular wave and almost shout-sang “Good Morning!”, hanging on to the rrrrnnnn sound much longer than I should have. I laughed at myself and my reaction. Who does that?, I thought. I’d looked like a total fool. I blushed a little, laughed and went on my merry way.
Even though it was long-gone from my memory, that cashier hadn’t forgotten. Maybe she remembered because she thought I was a fool. Maybe they all snickered about it once I walked away. But I like to think that my silliness really did brighten their day, that maybe I passed my smile around. And, I thought, I’m extra glad that she remembered me for being the smiling one instead of the grouchy one (because, unfortunately, there have been plenty of times when I could have easily been remembered as the latter).
So smile a while and give your face a rest. It’ll do us all some good.