Ty Myers

Ty Myers

I would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly referred to as the CDC, and Governor DeWine for the privilege of this moment.

The truth is, this article would not be possible without them. In fact, this article would have been about something else altogether different, such as hot springs, fry pies or crazy highway drivers who think I look so good they need to video me while they are driving 70 mph on a freeway in Arkansas.

Yes, I know I look goooood! I just didn’t realize I looked that good! Hopefully, the ridiculousness of what I just said made you smile a little bit because this article is all about smiles!

The recent changes in guidance surrounding the use of masks have granted us the ability to see something on a more regular basis than we have during the last 14 or so months — smiles! Who knew you could miss something that seems so small and trivial so much?

I imagine most of us have already discovered how much we missed seeing people smile. Yes, I know, people still smiled while wearing masks, but it certainly didn’t have the same impact. It’s similar to the old thought, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?”

Yes, in this illustration, sound is still generated when a tree falls in the woods but no one is impacted by that sound. The same thing could be said about a smile hidden behind a mask. The smile happened but it didn’t have the same impact on those nearby. Others were unable to truly feel the power of that particular smile.

Smiles are supposed to be contagious. However, as we have been living through the effects of a contagious disease, smiles became less contagious. Yet, all that has changed with the most recent guidance changes as we were granted the privilege of seeing smiles once more. And I for one believe this is something we could use a lot more of in our world because a smile is a powerful gift.

A smile can often help ease someone’s emotional pain. A smile can often help diffuse a challenging situation. A smile can even be the beginning of a deep and lasting love.

In fact, a simple smile can change our world in ways we never imagined possible. I still remember the day I walked into an office and was greeted with a smile that would change my world in the most powerful way. A single smile from the young lady behind the desk captivated my heart and was the beginning of nearly 37 years of marriage (and counting). Thankfully, this particular smile was a part of my life during these past 14 months. In fact, it was one of the few smiles I was blessed to see. And in many ways, it was and is the only smile that really matters. This particular smile still captivates my heart in ways I can’t fully explain.

I realize not everyone was as lucky as me during this rather long ordeal. Still, the hope is we will all begin to see more and more smiles in the days and weeks to come. May those smiles warm our hearts. May those smiles bring us joy. May those smiles help us through any rough times which lie ahead. Most of all, may we once more experience the power of a simple smile. At the same time, may we once more experience the contagious feeling of joy often associated with a single smile.

Let us remember these past 14 months when smiles were about as easy to find as toilet paper. Let us remember how much we missed seeing others smile so that we can fully understand the power of a smile. Right now, I am asking everyone to be something they have been told not to be for more than a year —contagious.

Share the gift of a smile with someone today so you can truly see just how contagious a smile can be. In the process, may we all be reminded of the power of a smile.

P.S. If you need help remembering how to smile just say cheese!

Ty Myers is a pastor at Emmanuel UMC and Zion UMC, and a member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association

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