Friday, October 5, 2012

Make Someone Smile

As I mentioned yesterday, there are a lot of holidays, awareness days, and other observances this month (as there are every month.) And I hadn't necessarily intended to do two awareness-day posts in a row. (Don't worry. This is not going to become an 'all activism all the time' blog.) But today just happens to be another one that I have to share.

The first Friday in October is World Smile Day. And the theme is very simple, but very wonderful: "Do an act of kindness. Make one person smile."

The observance of World Smile Day began in 1999 when Harvey Ball, creator of the smiley face symbol, declared that we should all "devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts." That's not to say, of course, that we should be grumpy and selfish the other 364 days. But, as with any other holiday, having the day devoted to this idea is a nice reminder, and will hopefully carry us throughout the rest of the year.

For my part, I spent the day wishing everyone I met a "Happy World Smile Day!" (followed by an explanation of what I was talking about.) And I absolutely loved seeing how each one of their faces brightened as they returned my smile.

And for a simple act of kindness, I brought a box of cookies to the secretary at my son's school, who was stuck at her desk while all of the classrooms were having their "Fall parties." It seemed to make her feel good, to be thought of. And it was a great reminder of how wonderful it feels to do something nice for someone else.

Even my kids were happy to get in on the action. As I told them about the day over breakfast they immediately jumped in and started doing anything they could think of to make everyone around them smile. And they kept it up for the rest of the day, wishing people they saw a "Happy World Smile Day." (Or as my daughter sometimes said, "Happy Make Someone Happy Day." She may not have always been able to remember it exactly right, but the sentiment was still perfect.)

And now, my friends, you have officially been smiled. I hope it brightened your day a little, and I hope you'll continue to pay it forward. Because, as my son so beautifully put it this morning, "When everybody makes everybody smile, then the earth will smile too."

If you'd like to learn more about World Smile Day please visit the link above, or you can visit their page on Facebook. You can also learn more about Harvey Ball and the World Smile Foundation at their web site. And for more thoughts about how to share your smile with others, please visit my fellow World Smile Day Ambassador, Miss Riki.

And, as always, please feel free to share your thoughts below. I'd love to hear about the things that made you smile today.

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