Smiling is Contagious

Traffic jams and busy sidewalks

Crowded hallways, the lines start forming

Coffee shops and sidewalk vendors

Every minute more and more people are joining

But no one really wants to be there

Frustration building while daylight breaks

It’s the chaos of another Monday morning

I stand alone and watch their faces

Eyes tired and hollow, the only common a robotic stare

Silence only shattered to raise their voice

Yelling at this or that or something else

Then its back to the long march and another long day

Dark clothes and an even darker perspective

The grinder taking another pound of flesh

And there’s not a speck of happiness out there

Not a spark, not even a tiny glimmer of a smile

They haven’t realized the rat race is rigged game

Boot on their necks or in their behinds

It’s a sad state-of-affairs called, life in the big city

Someone needs to change the vibe

Step in and offer a ray of hope

Watch me now as I lead the way

You see, I have a secret, one I just learned but eager to share

Not too long ago, they were me and I was them

Grumpy and mean before seven AM

My secret you see is simple, smiling is contagious

Yes, you heard me, smiling is contagious

Didn’t believe it until I gave it a try

And the after-effects are something beyond amazing

I’m here bringing some sunshine today

Just like I try to do most everyday

Stepping lively as I enter the fray

Making eye contact, and one expression at a time

A healthy smile and then good morning

How are you, hope you have a great day

To every person that walks my way

Looks are surprising, and the reactions priceless

My smile becomes their smile, my hello as well

Those robotic stares become regular faces

Joyfully smiling back at me, without understanding why

Some take a little coaxing, but I have the time

The human condition slightly recovering

And as they move away in the crowd, their smile remains

They carry that smile and pass it along

Good morning, and how’s it going

Another and another and soon many others

See, I told you that smiling is contagious

They pass it along, all day long

All it takes is a single smile and a city crowd

Starting today better than they started yesterday

Additional Reading

Visit our Inspirational Poetry Section for a Brighter Day

Published Works Available on Amazon

The Lover’s Thread, Poetry of Love and Romance

Poetry of the Human Condition, The Ups and Downs of Modern Living

The Creative Exiles an anthology of poems: Let the Words Speak

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

2 thoughts on “Smiling is Contagious

  • February 27, 2022 at 9:35 PM

    Ah! I love it, Ralph. Smiling can certainly work wonders. A smile and a warm greeting are like passing a lantern around a darkened city to light up faces and spirits. Well done, Ralph. Beautiful thoughts and great work.


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