World Smile Day, today, was launched in 1999 by the creator of the smiley symbol that we all know so well. He felt that all of us should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion – nor should we!
It’s a feel-good symbol we use when we want to show others that we mean well, even if at times we need to give a correction. The addition of a smiley face in an email or text message sure seems to soften that comment, and feels a little bit like a hug.
What a good reminder to speak gently when others are shouting, to give way happily when merging on the road, to speak kindly to the checkout operator – even when you have been in a queue for what seems like hours as the new recruit learns the system.
The smiley symbol also speaks to me of uncomplicated lives, of childhood and simplicity.
The teachings of Christian Science have shown me that men, women and children are really pure, innocent, lovely and totally good …. like their Creator.
Is acceptance of this concept a big ask for you?
I understand. It sure is for me at times, too! But I have found that accepting the opposite really limits me. And it’s only when I have denied the worthless and useless concepts of myself and others, that physical and mental healing have come about – and for me, that means infertility, pain, disease, anxiety and depression healed.
If it seems that ‘it’s not that much of a big deal’ that we’re often angry and impatient or anxious, want what she’s got or to get back at him, think again. These days, most people are grasping the significance of the spirit-mind-body connection, and are aware of the growing body of scientific research data showing how the quality of our thoughts affect our physical and mental health. (Check out The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine by Prof Ann Harrington for an overview).
Self-destructive thoughts don’t have to dominate our days. The recognition that we express divine goodness and innocence and serenity can be health-giving and life-changing. This fact should underpin Mental Health Week, falling next week throughout Australia, along with World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The transformations in our thinking that lead to forgiveness are what rehabilitate prison inmates and child soldiers, mend family rifts, renew self-worth and cure addictions.