Prep Headmaster's Blog: ‘A smile costs nothing, but gives much’

Nothing pleases me more than hearing the voices of laughter and joy at playtime or the chatter down the corridors between lessons.  The one big thing that there has been plenty of is  ‘smiles’ and, with this in mind, I decided to focus assembly on this.

We discussed whether they could think of times when they would be likely to smile – these included when they are happy, if they meet someone, if someone gives them a gift, when they have a photograph taken and so on. Nowadays, when we take photos of people, we expect them to smile. However, in Victorian times, it was the exact opposite. People were told: ‘Do not, on any account, smile!’ Here are a few facts about smiling:

  • There are over 18 different types of smile. For example, a smile that says ‘hello’, a smile that says you are feeling a bit sad, a smile that says you are excited and so on.
  • Someone who studies smiles is called a gelotologist.
  • A smile uses between five and 53 muscles.
  • When you smile, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel better.
  • People who smile more are usually liked more.
  • You can often tell if someone is smiling even if you are only speaking to them on the phone.
  • Bosses are more likely to promote people who smile.

I then asked them to consider how it makes them feel when someone smiles at them. The overriding response was “Happy”. There is a common saying: ‘A smile costs nothing, but gives much’ and a verse in the Bible says, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine.’ When we smile at people, it can often make them feel so much better. I challenge everyone to do this over the weekend with our families!

I then showed them the following clip which really does illustrate the snowball effect of laughter and smiles. Please click here and enjoy.

I do hope the sun continues to shine as this certainly makes me smile.  Please stay safe and adhere to the Government guidance. 

With best wishes,

Simon James



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