I smile often. I love my smile. I love to smile at others. I love to see others' smile. A smile can be heard, felt, touched. A smile is contagious and doesn't need a reason, it just simply is, like a ray of sunshine. A smile makes me feel warm inside, makes me feel accepted, loved, appreciated, cared for, held. A smile can tell a thousand words, that's why we smile in pictures because we want to tell a happy story. Smiling when you aren't in a good mood, makes you in a good mood. Your brain connects the dots and releases endorphins, your "feel good" hormones, and you immediately feel better. A smile can tell so much about a person without them saying a single word. But, smiling through a face mask isn't the same. Sure, I've adjusted and use my words more often. But there's nothing like seeing someone smile.
It is June 2020 and now face masks are mandatory to wear out in public in Miami, FL. I'm all for protecting myself and others and not spread harmful bacteria. I'm not at all against the idea of carrying this out until the end of year either. Many companies have gotten on board and have started creating fashionable face masks you can use to match the color of your clothes and even the print! Not only are you protecting yourself but you can also wear your favorite super hero, display your culture, wear a funny message, etc. We are getting accustomed to wearing face masks more often and we are forgetting them at home less and less. But, the brightest most noticeable feature in everyone, is hidden.
In the past, I've relied on my smile to express my gratitude and content towards someone else. I've let the stranger across the room know that I heard their funny joke with my smile. I've shown the clerk behind the counter I understand that they are on the phone and I will patiently wait for them to be available. A smile can even stop the angriest person in the room from an outburst (in some occasions). But now I can't see your smile, and you can't see mine.
How do we smile, without smiling?
How do I show you I'm happy without speaking?
It's not about being for or against face coverage in the effort of spreading this virus less and less but it is about recognizing that seeing someone smiling is priceless.