Wayne Dyer says, “Loving People live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
Turn on the TV or radio, pick two channels, and you’ll find opposing interpretations of humanity.
The sky is falling.
Everything will be okay.
There’s so much discord in society. Sometimes I wonder how we’ll survive.
But there’s a ray of hope as we enter this autumn season.
World Smile Day is the first Friday in October.
You know, the smiley face?
That bright yellow icon was created by the commercial artist Harvey Ball in 1963. Ball wanted to help people smile and to perpetuate kind acts. He instituted the first World Smile Day in 1999. Upon his death in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was set up to continue his mission.
You’ve heard the saying, A smile is worth a thousand words.
According to Scientific America children who are born blind and never seen a person smile, still instinctively smile in the same social situations as sighted people.
The theory is that the smile evolved as a gesture to indicate nonresistance and later friendliness.
Frank McAndrew, a Knox College psychology professor, agrees, saying that, “In primates, showing the teeth, especially teeth held together is almost always a sign of submission. . . if the teeth are pressed together and the lips are relaxed, then clearly you are not prepared to do any damage. If a primate was in the attack mode, it would open it’s mouth as if to bite.”
Try to smile with your teeth apart.
It doesn’t work. Your grin morphs into a growl. (To learn more about this evolutionary link, click here.)
In Western culture, and especially America, the smile is generally considered a universal expression of friendship and trust. The smile became an even more important gesture because the United States was a frontier society with little law enforcement and the need to indicate that, “I am a friend,” was paramount to survival.
It might save your life.
It certainly can’t hurt.
While the media and the politicians would like us to believe the apocalypse is next Saturday, World Smile Day is proof to contrary—evidence that human consciousness is heading in the right direction.
And that’s reassuring!
To honor World Smile Day, here are some ideas to make another human smile.
Smiles that don’t cost a penny:
- Make a point to see the manager at the grocery store, gym, bank, convenient store, wherever, and tell that person she’s running a great business (we always forget to thank the boss).
- Send five texts to people with whom you’ve worked in the past and say, “Thank you for your business!” or “I so appreciate the trouble you took to help me.”
- Write a five star review on Amazon for your favorite author (this totally helps her!).
- Email the school principal and tell her she runs an exceptional institution. Or send a message to your child’s favorite teacher, saying, ‘Thanks! I know you put in a lot of time outside of school to make your classroom great. I want to acknowledge your commitment to my child’s education.”
- Start a compliment jar at work for the receptionist.
- Pick up the phone and call your mom, dad, brother, sister, or friend—say, “I love you and this is why!”
- Smile at a stranger and hold open the door.
- Write your boss or co-worker a quick note of gratitude.
- Post a positive review on Yelp! (restaurant, hair salon, dry cleaners, etc.).
- Play The Compliment Game at dinner tonight with your family (this blog will tell you how to do it).
- Write a raving review on Facebook for your favorite _____________ (fill in the blank). LIKE the page. And to really make someone smile, SHARE the page or a post.
- Give a meaningful face-to-face compliment to a point-of-service employee. (the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru attendant, the Sunoco clerk, etc.) I love nail polish or You’re always so friendly.
Smiles that require less than $1:
- Write a letter to a former teacher or coach and tell them how they changed your life for the better.
- Write to a service member. Here are the A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude links.
- Buy a pack of smiley face stickers and hand them out today.
Smiles that cost a tiny bit more:
- Buy a single flower and give it to someone who would least expect it (the bus driver, the mailman, your wife or husband—he! he!).
- Support a local business by purchasing at a small mom and pop shop versus a big box store and tell the owner.
- Give the bank teller, grocery clerk a $5 gift card to Starbucks and say, “Thanks!”
What kind of world do you live in?
I’m picking a loving world.
And I’m celebrating World Smile Day.
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Click here to watch a two-minute video that I hope makes you smile. Enjoy!
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These Betty Crocker Spicy Mexican Lasagna Roll Ups should make everybody smile for Sunday Dinner!
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P.S. Buying my book will totally make me smile!