July 13     

Today's quotation:

If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important.  If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.  If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile?  Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.  The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Today's Meditation:

Smiles are incredibly powerful, and they send a message immediately that mere words can't express.  When someone smiles at me sincerely, we're sharing something wonderful as long as the smile is sincere and without malice.  I like to smile, and I like to keep my eyes and ears open for reasons to smile.  I don't, however, walk around with a smile permanently on my face-- smiles are another one of those things that if we use them too much, if we use them insincerely, become much less believable, much less trustworthy.

It's fairly easy to find things to smile about, if we allow ourselves to do so.  If we focus on the things we love, smiles are bound to come and they can benefit us greatly.  I've heard the argument "If you were going through what I'm going through you wouldn't want to smile," but my experience tells me that such a perspective isn't a result of circumstances, but a choice that the person is making to stay focused on the problems and to ignore the blessings that are also all around them in abundance.  Life is simply too short to spend long periods of time without smiling.

It's really a shame how often smiles are misunderstood, or are greeted with suspicion.  It's understandable, though, given how many people use smiles to try to manipulate others.  I just have to keep in mind that my smiles that I share with other people won't always have the effect that I want them to have-- but that shouldn't keep me from sharing them.

I especially like to trade smiles with kids.  Their smiles are so heart-warming and so loving that they can make my heart melt, and they really like seeing adults smile back at them and just enjoy their company.  If you want to add some sunshine to the world, share your smile with others, and you'll love the sunshine that they share with you when they smile back.

Questions to consider:

Why are smiles so often such a powerful thing?

Why do so many people smile so little?

How many times have you shared your smile today?

For further thought:

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

Joseph Addison

more on smiles



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