I was sitting in my car at a red light on the way home from work. I felt darn tired and miserable. A red 4x4 was crossing the intersection to take the road I had come. As he passed the driver smiled at me. I recognised him at once. It was that guy at work who always smiles at me and everyone else. You hardly know him, but he smiles at you as though you and he won a million dollars in a lottery together. A twinkling, open, sun-like smile. I am tempted to say conspiratorial, but there is no guile whatsoever in his smile.
I sat there realising that I must have looked like a miserable sod to him when he spotted me, but he still smiled as though I were his best friend. I sat there realising that this guy always smiles at me, even though we have hardly exchanged three phrases in all the years I have known him. I sat there (by now the light had changed and I was half-way home) wondering if he even knows that he is smiling at people. Is it possible for someone to feel so well and positive and happy all the time that they spontaneously smile at everyone they meet out of a sheer gladness and benevolence of heart? When I see his smile, I think it is.
The man of superior virtue is not conscious of his virtue,
And in this way he really possesses virtue.
The man of inferior virtue never loses sight of his virtue,
And in this way he loses his virtue....
Therefore, only when Tao is lost does the doctrine of virtue arise.
When virtue is lost, only then does the doctrine of humanity arise.
When humanity is lost, only then does the doctrine of righteousness arise.
When righteousness is lost, only then arise rules of propriety.
Now, propriety is a superficial expression of loyalty and faithfulness, and the beginning of disorder.
Tao Te Ching 38
My scheming cynical rational mind offers other explanations: he is naïve, he has never experienced suffering, he has passed through life so far unscathed by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Yes, that’s it. Isn’t it?
The next time I meet him, I’m going to have a word with him.
Flowers are God’s way of smiling. Proverb
A smile is the universal welcome. Max Eastman
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. William Arthur Ward
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Theresa
Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Theresa
Peace begins with a smile. Mother Theresa
The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief. Shake-speare (De Vere)
He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger. Japanese proverb
Smiles are the soul’s kisses. Minna Thomas Antrim
Beauty is power; a smile is its sword. Charles Reade
Because of your smile you make life more beautiful. Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile. Jewish proverb
People worry and God smiles. Jewish proverb
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Thich Nhat Hanh
Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart. Anthony J. D’Angelo
Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror. Rabindranath Tagore