Thursday, June 21, 2007

2. Get back to childhood- smile

After reading my last piece on 'smile', my son read out a quote to me-"A smile takes only 17 muscles whereas a frown 43. So, smile. Don't waste energy". Some of my logically-inclined friends would argue that if the idea is not to waste energy, it would be desirable to neither frown nor smile. Why waste energy even by using 17 muscles ? Some others would favour exercising more and more muscles. They would like to frown and give some exercise to 43 muscles even if it means hurting others. They may even like to explore the possibility of smiling and frowning at the same time so that they could exercise 43+17 muscles.

If you ask some one like Osho, he would say, when you smile, each and every muscle of your body should join the celebration. Not only your face- your whole body, your entire being should be in sync with your joyous mood. A smile on the face of a child is one of the best spectacles you can hope to see, because it is spontaneous, total and almost without any reason. You just cannot remain detatched from such a smile.

Our problem is that we have grown up. We don't smile because grown-ups are expected to be serious and business-like. Even when we smile, it is without any spontaneity. Only 17 or less muscles take part in it, with the rest of the body adopting an attitude of non-cooperation. Smile is more a weapon to be used deliberately to advance some cause.

Sometimes, smile or frown is dictated by the occasion. You have little choice. When you go to a marriage, you must smile and when you go to a funeral, you have to look grim. If you dare smile at a funeral, your behaviour will be considered childish, because only a child is capable of smiling at a funeral.

We need to reverse the process of growing up and go back to our childhood. you will use your 17 muscles and say, "how childish!"

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