Posted by in Blog, Emotional wellness, Just for you, Life as a mom, Rebecca

Value of a smile

We’ve all been there. We’re out for a walk by ourselves or with the baby. Maybe we’re thinking of how hard things have been lately…the dreary weather, the baby being sick, the bills piling up. We see a stranger coming the other way. A quick glance at them and then we’re back in our own world. We probably wouldn’t even notice if we walked by a famous person.

I’m a Mom of a 10 month old. Things are easier now than they were at the beginning for sure. That doesn’t mean I don’t have down days. On those down days, I definitely have to get out of the house. What that means for me and my son is usually a walk around Green lake. When he was just a newborn, strangers always looked at him and then me and usually flashed a big smile while mouthing, “Awww, he’s so cute.” I can’t say how much it meant to me to be on the receiving end of that smile.

Somehow that smile always validates something in me. I was surviving. No, more like I was doing Ok. Some days I felt like it just validated me as a human being, my mere existence on the earth. Some days I feel like it means, “Great job.” Isn’t it funny how one smile can communicate so many things? Many might say a smile is just a smile. It’s a friendly gesture with no hidden meaning. I beg to differ. It’s an acknowledgment. Some of us don’t even receive acknowledgment from our own friends and family. Being out in the world and having a stranger smile at me is one of my favorite things. Even more fun than receiving a smile is giving one.

On the flip side, I’ve noticed something disturbing. Here’s the problem. Last week when I went for a walk around Green lake, I tried to make eye contact and smile at least a dozen other moms. I was walking, looking, and smiling AND NOTHING. No look back, no smile back, no acknowledgment. Weird. I came home and was so sad. Seriously. I didn’t connect and smile with one other person.


I think the value of a smile is not understood very well. My challenge to you is to smile at someone today. You will probably have no idea what that smile may mean to them (or not). Some people may not care, but for those that do care, it may just make their day. So please….be friendly and be inspiring!

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  1. Good idea! :D (look, I even smiled in my comment… sort of… ;) …)

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