This morning, as I got my children ready for school, exhausted from a week of hard labor both emotionally, and physically, I realized the extent of my fatigue and weakness. I began to wonder if I can capture the vibrancy and strength my I once had.
I caught a glimpse of my sunken eyes, arid skin, and hideously wrapped scarf around my head. I knew I still had to walk that last stretch, and say “Alasalamualaykum” to my children with a smile, a melting hug, and making sure my sadness doesn’t pierce into them.
As I gave away my last piece of strength, my heart cried “Ya Rabbi please help me”. Just then, I saw her. A complete stranger, without a trace of distress, very well dressed, and not single hair out of place. She came and placed herself right beside me. My first instinct was to walk away-why would I want to be around someone who has everything placed so perfectly?
Then, she spoke a few words, ” Morning, I see you daily, you have a contagious smile, and I always admire it, why so sad today?” I looked at her as blank as I felt. Before I had a chance to have a deep rooted, tear filled conversation, her little toddler ran off, taking her warm aura away from me. Just a few seconds ago, I managed to erect a wall around me. One so tall, and strong, ready to withhold the compassion of any human being today.
However, with a few kind gems she managed to illuminate my thinking. The process is physiological which I’ll take you through on another day. But very quickly I went from feeling, defeated, and worn out to realizing it’s okay and I’m not alone. Without any effort, or owing me anything, she chose to tap into a dark place and place a small candle.
I’m sure her day will go on as if she did nothing extremely profound. But for me, and everyone else who is blessed to meet her kindness today, she will have illuminated our lives.
I can’t stress the importance of smiling at each other. There is a beautiful wisdom why a simple smile is charity. The amount of positive change your smile can make in someone’s life is insurmountable. The prophet (S.A.W) said,
“Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.”
“Your smile for your brother is charity.”
So today, go out and offer some genuine caring words coated in a warm smile. There maybe someone out there that is at the edge of life, wondering where to turn to for kindness. Your smile maybe the reason someone chooses to try harder.