The mojo of a smile

The mojo of a smile

“Your smile is your fortune,” our high school math teacher repeatedly reminded us, the eighth graders. As if to emphasise her belief, she would on her part don a gorgeous smile almost incessantly through the day. This disposition of hers naturally won our friendship, though a good number among us detested the trigonometry and simultaneous equations that she tried to drill into our heads.

Besides, almost unconsciously, it sank into our impressionable minds that a pleasant countenance was an invaluable asset that could win fortunes and friendships for a person.

Later, during my college days, I would again unearth the mojo of this friendly expression which is celebrated as a universal language. This time, it was our Economics professor who captivated us with her smile. Despite being strict and demanding perfection from students, who often tend to gravitate towards more lenient professors, she was a much-loved faculty.

This was because, I reckon, she could smile at us with much ease. No matter what her mood was, we could be certain of seeing her enter the classroom sporting a broad smile. Its warmth melted all the coldness we felt towards her strict and stringent ways. In no time, a good rapport was felt and sustained.

It soon became clear to me that there was more goodness in this eternal disposition than we choose to give credit. Even little kids capitalise on the mojo of their smiles. My niece is a case in point. After turning the house upside down with her Barbie Dolls and all the paraphernalia, she gets away with the annoyance it has caused to my sister-in-law simply with her adorable smile.

This is not all! My good friend confesses that it is her husband’s delightful smile which, besides winning her heart, continued to bail him out of her wrath on several Sunday mornings when she laboured through the weekend chores while he sat glued to the best of the football matches aired on TV.

However, a smile can sometimes invite an unexpected reaction. Recently, I was at the receiving end of a nasty remark from a fellow commuter upon flashing a smile at him. He was manoeuvring bumper-to-bumper traffic while I was driving freely on the opposite side.

Wanting to spread some cheer, I gave him a smile as our cars crossed. I was taken aback to hear him swear in return and wondered if my impromptu decision to give him a smile was right. Yes, said my inner voice, for no one needs a smile more than the person who has none to give!