The truth is that I do not always smile. Sometimes it’s too opposite to what I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s too much effort. And sometimes I simply forget that it’s important.
One Yom Kippur I actually committed to smile intentionally at least once every morning that year. My parents like it when I smile, my wife likes it when I smile, my kids like it when I smile, I like it when I smile. I'm not half as ugly when I'm smiling. And it's important for bein adam lachaveiro (working with other people); it can even be an act of chesed. לעולם הוי מקבל כל אדם בסבר פנים יפות, Greet everyone with a pleasant face - Shammai knew it.
Now, though, I don’t need to make any special commitment, because I have a reminder. Our kollel meets in the Clanton Park shul, and I usually enter from the parking lot. Right by the entrance is the following graffiti – it’s been there since before I ever got here, and for all I know it's been there for decades:
Is it the simple message and goofy grin?
Is it the incongruity of positive graffiti?
Is it the chassidic payes and hat?
I don’t know, but it works for me. I see it, and my morning changes. And if I leave the building for lunch and return, I see it again and it helps my day again. And again when I come in for night seder.
What a wonderful sign. I think I might graffiti my house with one, too.