I read at the World Smile Day website that Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. Cool, eh? My birth year. Today the smiley is the world’s most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer. World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of every October – and this year, it was on October 7, 2011. But we really don’t need a specially designated day to be nice, do we?
I was also looking for a particular story today that I remembered reading long ago and what with one thing and another (and yet another) I ended up on a site that had loads of inspiring stories. I am glad I did because I had a very enjoyable couple of hours. The one that stayed in my mind, though was this lovely poem “Smile”. I’ve reproduced it here for you to read, enjoy and reflect.
By Barbara Hauck
(from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirgerger)
She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
and wrote him a thank-you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank-you
that he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings,
and gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
For two days he’d had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
he left for his small dingy room.
(He didn’t know at that moment
that he might be facing his doom.)
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
and took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
to be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked ’til he woke the whole household
and saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
that hadn’t cost a cent.
And here is another gem about smiling:
We come into this world crying, while those around us smile.
We leave this world smiling, while those around us cry.
– Confucius, 460 B.C.
Did you do something nice today?
Did you smile at someone?