Could you smile please!

In 2018, I wrote about the masks, Are you wearing a mask? I had written it figuratively to indicate how the adults’ camouflage to get adapt to the situations. At that time, I didn’t even dream of situations where masks are worn literally by most of the population. 

Those were the days when we could see the masks only in hospitals and rarely in restaurants. No public would see, buy and talk about the rules to wear masks. Unbelievable to hear of doubts and debates on wearing masks. One could enjoy the air on the face while walking, riding bikes, or peeping through the car windows. 

We would see known people from faraway and wave at them and smile. You could spread a bit of happiness with a smile, exchange smiles, give away smiles, be happy when a small gesture could bring a smile to someone’s face. Smiling at not-so-familiar people, sometimes it is smiles of courtesy, sometimes it is to say thanks to unexpected help, a way to show kindness and compassion. The smile had more meaning and was available when we step out. Did we make use of that sunshine in public? Did we smile enough each other or wasted them in counting whether to smile or not. You would only know your numbers. Now, if you smile with masks on, rarely people notice it. If they are smiling at you, you may not even recognize it.

When you smileyour brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas serotonin is an antidepressant. So let us smile, whether it is visible to other’s eyes or not, it can still touch the people.

Around us, there are plenty of reasons and information which increase fear, anxiety and worry. It has become more important to smile and spread a little sunshine around you. As the poem says, No one needs a smile so much as those who have none to give. Do not wait for the other person to smile or call you. The darker situations need some light, however small it could be. Try to add little positivity, comfort, ease, and smile from the distance to everyone you know.

Stay safe. Let the hope thrive!

—Anitha KC

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