"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A smile worth sharing!

Today the children and I are on quest.......a quest to bring smiles to the faces of strangers. We know and practice the power of smiling all the time. It's a particular useful skill when one of us may become a bit too serious and then be lead to smile on account of someone elses silliness. This morning, for example, Charlotte was devastated that Daddy had to go to work.......again!!! So, in an effort to reverse her tears Daddy became silly, made silly faces, started to laugh, and even though it took a little time, Charlotte's tears stopped and she began to giggle. It wasn't until after Daddy left that she came running for the window and with a laugh and a smile waved good-bye, lovingly. It's in these little moments that I realize how much power we have to change a situation, for the better. We always have a choice in any situation to help someone to feel better.

I'm not suggesting that we become enablers or martyrs, I'm simply hoping that when a time arises that we are given the opportunity to rise up, we will. There is a moment, recently, where I can think of a time I didn't, and of course now, I wished I had. I was at a meeting and a dear friend of mine, who's mother had just passed away, arrived. I was shocked to see her, and she barely smiled. She wouldn't even speak throughout the meeting. My eyes met hers and then we looked away. I didn't even have a second to give her a smile. At one moment during the meeting, she abruptly stood up and said she had to go. My gut was telling me to follow her and reach out, but, being that we were in a stated meeting, I hesitated and let her walk out. My heart was pounding and kept screaming at me to "GET UP!!! GO TO HER!!!".......but I didn't. It's these times, when our hearts are reaching for us to go the next mile, where we have the most power to make difference, even if it's only a smile.

In discussing this with the children (they're on school break this week so I thought it was a perfect time to introduce some alternative learning) I asked them what they thought might be fun ways to bring smiles to people we don't know. The first idea was to simply smile at someone who walks by us. Easy enough! Then we thought of simply acts of kindness......holding the door for someone, picking something up for someone who accidentally dropped it, helping an older person put the cart away at the grocery store, leaving smiley face notes on random cars. These ideas came with a flurry of others and from them we decided that we would come up with little notes....."You have a beautiful smile"......"You are a good friend"........"Thank you for being you"........and leave them in various places around town. On someones windshield, on a table at a restaurant, on a bathroom mirror. It's a quest. One that is exciting because it's meant to be secretive.....one that is joyful because it will bring a smile to someones face.

Today, while you're out in the world running your errands, working, or simply going out for lunch, maybe think of how you could change someones day with a smile. There are many people are quietly suffering, you would never know their sadness that sits within them. A simple smile and acknowledgement of their existence could change everything.

"Smile more. Laugh often. Live much."

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