This weekend I worked. But my job was to facilitate others working far harder. Working for little reward (in standard terms) and for little acknowledgement in the public eye. They were working for passion and collaboration, learning and progress. So I considered it an honour.

At the end of it, I made friends. Not because I could talk their language or understand their world of production. I made friends because I was a member of staff who smiled. I got thanked for it. And it was then I realised how rare it can be now.

It’s an upward turn of your mouth muscles, it’s a crinkle of the skin around your eyes, it’s the shine in your pupils. But it’s more.

It’s a levity in your energy and a happy connection made. It’s a gesture of openness and camaraderie and a notion of understanding. It’s a warmth in an impersonal world and a gentleness in an environment can seem so hard.

So today, as you walk around, take a moment to crinkle those eyes in an upward tilt of the lips, outlook and energy. Do it at the homeless person who has all the time in the day and to the person who shoves past you because lateness is so terrifying to them. Do it at the person who is stressed or unhappy and do it at the person who is ecstatic. We spend so much time pandering to the tears of this world that it is little wonder that smiles are an endangered reaction. But it can make all the difference to that one person right now. And who knows what they are destined to achieve with that difference.



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