Letter: Keep smiling underneath the mask

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 31, 2020

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s hard to create a smile when wearing a protective viral mask. Before COVID-19, it was smile and those who are nearby will smile with you.

Normally a smile can be friendly, add to one’s face value and a curve that can set things straight. It’s a smile that lights the face and will warm the receiver’s heart.

Even in the old Grecian mythological days, it was said the god Janus had two faces with a smile. One face was set in back and the other in front. Presumably, he could see backward and forward. Perhaps that’s why we are gifted to have our eyes placed in front because it’s more important to look ahead than look back. 

A smile costs nothing, but creates much. None are so rich that they don’t appreciate it and none so poor that they don’t savor the moment. It’s nature’s best antidote for our trying times. For most, it can’t be bought, begged for or taken for granted because it’s so good when given away. Everybody should get and give a smile.

But, with a face mask, does my passer-by have a face that’s withered and pale? Maybe the face is like a beautiful window that can be seen into the person’s very being.

Perhaps we have the same plight as the mosquito that surveyed a bathing beach and concluded, “I don’t know what to think or where to begin.”

It’s hard to tell anyone that’s wearing a mask to smile. But we’ve got to know that smiles enhance our mood and help us to be happy.

But keep smiling at people anyway. They’ve got to know underneath this mask is a nice “howdy do” and friendly smile.

— Gene Hayden