June 16
  What sunshine is to flowers,
smiles are to humanity.  They
are but trifles, to be sure;
but, scattered along life's
pathway, the good they do
is inconceivable.

Joseph Addison


Today's Meditation:

People who share their smiles freely are such a blessing in life--I know that the effect of a smile on me is incredibly positive.  It makes me feel something inside that I can't explain, kind of like the feeling I get when I see a beautiful flower or watch a puppy or a kitten play.  It's just a good, good feeling.

Unfortunately, though, I'm a bit stingy with my smiles, especially with strangers.  I don't smile easily, except with people I know well, and I wish that I did smile more.  I know how nice other people's smiles make me feel, so it seems somewhat selfish of me to deprive others of my smile, and I shouldn't tell myself that it doesn't really matter, because it obviously does.  I don't beat myself up about not smiling more, but I do try to change the situation as much as I can.

Of course, smiles are much nicer when they're genuine.  Smiles can be abused, especially if someone's trying to manipulate you or make you feel at ease before they stick it to you (the insincere salesperson leaps to mind).  Sometimes it's in our best interests not to trust a particular smile.  This is an unfortunate reality of life, but one that we must pay attention to.  For my part, I try not to be too suspicious until something else tips me off that trust may not be in my best interest.

Smiles can accomplish so much, yet we tend to value them very little.  A person who shares a smile is always taking a risk, and I for one want to be a person who rewards the risk-taker by smiling back, or even saying something like, "Nice smile--thanks!"  Smiles can warm our hearts and put us at ease and let us know that someone else likes us and accepts us enough to share something so special, so let us please not undervalue these wonderful gifts to humanity.

Questions to consider:

Why do some people withhold their smiles from others?  What are some of the effects of not sharing smiles?

How are smiles like sunshine?  What good do they do? 

What are some ways that we might practice sharing our smiles more often with more people?

For further thought:

Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give.
So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will
spread sunshine in a sometimes-dreary world.

Lawrence G. Lovasik

More thoughts and passages on smiles.


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