The Power of a Smile

The Power of a Smile
by Ridgely Goldsborough

A smile is a little curve that sets a lot of things straight and an inexpensive way to improve one’s looks.

“What does that mean?” mused the wanderer. “If it’s impossible to hold onto negativity when smiling, then every time I smile, I engage in negativity eradication. Every time I help another smile, I do more of the same. If they in turn pass it on, the effect ripples. Where does it end?”

The wanderer slowed his gait, as if a slower pace would allow the questions to collect themselves, organise and fall into some semblance of order.

“Every time I act, it matters. Every time I speak, it has an impact. Every time I think, the influence flows, positive or negative. Hmmm…” As was his custom, he began to pull on the skin at the base of his chin.

“Not only does it improve the outward appearance. It also effects my outlook, as light replaces the darkness inside. I feel different. I see differently.”

“Every time I fail to smile, I halt the stream. Every time I ignore a chance to give, that chance vanishes forever. Every judgement I allow, every grudge I cling to, every prejudice that infects me without treatment matters — not only to me, but to everyone. All of it is paid forward.”

Tug, tug, tug on the chin.

“Every tear I fail to shed, becomes a lost tear that can never be reclaimed. Every laugh that I ignore, every guffaw that I suppress, every greeting I don’t return ceases the run. It all matters.”

Tug, tug, tug.

“If the tides stop for a second, the waters surge over the coasts and wreak havoc. If the sun blinks shut for an instant, the rays go haywire and trash our orb’s protective layer. If the wind froze and the pollen fell to the ground, how would the plants fertilise? Nothing exists in isolation — nothing.”

The wanderer plopped on the ground. He noticed a butterfly and watched its flight.

“Take that butterfly. It drew energy from its cocoon. It pulled fuel from natural elements in the earth. It fought its way out of the trap and in so doing gained the strength to flap its wings. Without that struggle it could never fly and yet because it endured, it now moves and causes wind, the same wind that floats the pollen, that lures the bees, that cause more wind, that gathers clouds and lightning and rain — all interconnected from humble beginnings. Wow.”

He tugged a final tug and stood.

“Can a butterfly’s wings in Kansas truly cause a tsunami in the South Pacific?”

The wanderer smiled, sent his thoughtful joy into the ethers and followed the butterfly.

That’s A View from the Ridge . . .

Author Ridgely Goldsborough publishes The Daily Column; humorous and inspirational stories designed to touch our hearts. Please take a moment to subscribe at no charge at