Thursday, 21 April 2011

Smile Like you Mean it

"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness"
William Arthur Ward

Random Acts of Kindness has been on tour this week as I was on holiday in the Czech Republic visiting my Dad. It's a country I have visited many times over the past 7 years since my Dad moved out there. When I first visited I thought that the people were quite cold and lacked emotion. The sense of humour in these parts is dry and they can take a while to warm to you. The language barrier is a big issue as English is not even the second language, Russian or German are more commonly spoken after the official language of Czech due to the countries communist roots. Many of the people I have met in  CZ and have come to know well have been warm and welcoming to me. They prioritise family, keep clean respectable homes and work hard for a living. I wish I could communicate better. There is nothing worse than when you are sitting next to someone who gives off the non verbal cues that they want to converse with you but you can't understand a word! Czech is a difficult language to get your head around though. 

With my Random Acts of Kindness meme in mind, I went on this trip with the intention of bringing the simplest communication devise to the table, my smile. 

I made it my aim to smile at as many people as possible while I was out and about. Even though I couldn't always communicate with words, I could communicate kindness through a smile. My little Grumpinator has the most infectious smile . . . 

I found that many people smiled straight back at me and some would try to strike up a conversation as I guess it made me more approachable. I quickly realised that it actually makes me feel good too. I think that no matter where you are in the world and what situation you find yourself in, a smile can always bring happiness to both smiler and receiver. 

I googled smiling, because I'm nerdy that way and the first hit was 'top ten reasons to smile'. I like this list . . . 
Smiling . . . 
1.  makes us attractive 
2.  changes our mood
3.  is contagious
4.  relives stress
5.  boosts your immune system
6.  lowers your blood pressure
7.  releases endorphins, natural pain relievers and serotonin 
8.  lifts your face and makes you look younger
9.  makes you seem successful
10.helps you stay positive

With a list like that we should all be going around with a big cheesy smile and psychologist, counsellors and plastic surgeons might be out of work! 

I should also mention that many people were really kind to me this week when I was travelling with the wee Grumpinator. Lots of people offering to help me at the airport, carrying my bags and buggy etc. I hope they are Karmically rewards as I certainly appreciated their thoughtfulness and kindness. 

Fancy linking up your own thoughts on kindness? Something you've done or something someone else has done for you?


  1. It's right you know, you really can't beat the power of a smile. Was only talking about this with my best mate yesterday after we experienced varying levels of customer service from different shops.

    Hope you had a lovely break away to visit your Dad.


  2. Contagious??? I knew I caught something when the sunshine sneezed on me, bah! Important reminder, thank you - hope you enjoyed your travels.

  3. It's definitely good to smile, I don't do enough of it!! I used to ship material to CZ when I worked at ICI and I remember back then how difficult it was to converse!

    CJ xx

  4. It's definitely good to smile, I don't do enough of it!! I used to ship material to CZ when I worked at ICI and I remember back then how difficult it was to converse!

    CJ xx


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