Risus Sardonicus is a facial expression often found in people with increased contraction of facial muscles. It is typically found in a disease condition we all at one time or the other must have heard about. You must have been told to treat open wounds and not walk with your bare feet if you have an open wound to prevent the disease “Tetanus”. The resulting facial expression, also known as the ‘Sardonic smile’ is a reaction contrary to what the patient feels. The patient has this wide grin on his face; usually mistaken to be scornful.
Have you ever had muscle cramps? Imagine that experience all over your body. Painful huh? A patient in serious muscle spasm doesn’t have any reason to smile. The pain he feels is so much and enough to make a grown man cry, but because of the non cooperating facial muscles, he presents as someone with a smile. Not just a smile, a disdainful one.
We face lots of problems all the time as humans. There are a thousand and one reasons not to talk to anybody. There are sufficient indications to maintain a melancholic state, keeping frowns and refusing to loosen up. I remember an old song by the popular Nigerian singer Lagbaja “No matter condition, feyin e” (No matter the condition, put up a toothy smile). That song clearly points out that most, if not all of the time, conditions that will not warrant smiling will come, but one should smile, in spite of them. Smiles shouldn’t be held back; No situation is worth taking it away.
Of course sometimes we cry, sometimes we get sad, weighed down by the cares of this world, but what makes you a victor over those things is being able to put up a smile saying “You pressed me down, Now I’m running over”.
That smile that forms when you are being cast down is what says “Though you beat me down today, I will rise up in victory”.
Apart from it meaning a sign of victory or anticipated victory, laughter actually causes the brain to release endorphins. These biological substances are gotten when you are excited and helps you relax; getting rid of stress and keeping those wrinkles away. If you haven’t noticed this, try to laugh! Laugh again! Harder! See you feel better. Imagine experiencing that every day of your life.
I have to mention that you don’t really need a reason to smile or laugh before you do. In fact after saying your morning prayers, stand in front of the mirror and laugh at how funny the ‘just-waking-up’ you looks like. Laugh, even at the dullest jokes cracked. Laugh harder than anyone in the conference room, even if you didn’t get to hear what the speaker said. Smile at every gesture you get or make. Smile when someone gets on your nerves; before thinking of a reaction to give (it usually comes out positive).
If you still can’t see any reason to smile, let me give you one. You have a Father that cares about all you are going through. He knows everything behind that smile and the masked happiness. He knows exactly where the bug bites and knows the perfect method to fix it. You have a hope and a future so smile! Laugh! Feel good about yourself, even when nobody thinks there is a reason to. Smile, you are more beautiful when you do.
– Ayobola Ojuawo
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