Sun, Mar 03, 2002 - Page 24 News List

The power of a smile can treat the incurable

Chen Hung, left, uses a Chinese phonetic chart to dictate his thoughts to his wife, Liu Hsueh-hui.


The power of a smile is well-known by everyone. Perhaps some might think that visitors to hospital wards would bring reasons for smiles. But, for me, seeing old friends in such a time and place inevitably brings very mixed feelings and even tears to my eyes.

And so I once told everyone "no visitors" -- the reason being that stirring up too much emotions is not good for my health. But those who wanted to come still came.

Therefore, I had to adjust my mentality, and accept friends' well-intended visits. Trying unsuccessfully to come up with words, while also getting a sense of what it feels like "when people with genuine heartfelt friendship smile and look at each other" -- yes, that is a very good feeling.

Smiles can encourage others. It is an expression of compliment. Smiles can also create a harmonious atmosphere. Therefore, I try my best to think about beautiful scenery, beautiful things, and beautiful memories. Amid such deep reflection, I nurture the potential and momentum to smile.

I want to wash away the pain caused by my illness with smiles. I want to relax my tightly-locked eye brows with smiles.

The line between pain and joy is thin to begin with. Gradually, I can smile even when I am not feeling well. When I am feeling sad, I can also smile. This way I incur no losses, yet the pressure on the people surrounding me is significantly reduced.

Once the habit of smiling is formed, people almost no longer treat me as a seriously ill person. At times I did not wear a smile, I would immediately receive complaints based on misunderstanding that I was unhappy with something or someone.

Therefore, when I truly can't smile, I also have the door closed and quietly indicate to the nurse watching me "sorry, from now on I can't put on a smile."

One day, after a nurse changed my medicine, she told me: "Don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes I know that you are not feeling well, but you are still smiling at others. Although I smile back at you at those times, I get an urge to cry the moment I step out of the room."

At that moment, my mind went blank for a long while.

As I can still communicate to others through writing, I once asked my nurse why she picked nursing as her profession. She told me that she truly admires Florence Nightingale.

I asked her what kind of dreams she has now. She said that, if she had the chance, she would like to work as a nurse on the frontlines of a battle.

I thought about her words. I thought about her comment regarding my smile, too. Repeatedly thinking about them, I realize they make sense. Therefore, I often feel sincere gratitude in my heart towards everyone.

Published by Chen Hung in I Love My Family, Nov. 2001.

Translated by Amy Wu

This story has been viewed 2828 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top