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Inspiration: Something To Smile About…

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“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”  William Arthur Ward

Inspiration: Something To Smile About... A warm smile makes our day brighter...

I’ve never met a smile that made me sad or even mad. Smiling ups our health quotient and keeps our life force flowing …  Yet, many of us go through a typical day without a smile on our faces, and then we feel so burdened by the weight of the world and our responsibilities. If we would take moments, deliberate moments, throughout the day to just pause and smile…  The quality of our life in general will shift positively. Try it.

The starfish
Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance, he could see a person going back and forth between the surf’s edge and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached, he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached, the person continued the task of picking up starfish, one by one, and throwing them into the surf.
“You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference,” he said. The person looked at the man, stooped down, picked up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean and then said: “It sure made a difference to that one!”

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Inspiration: Something To Smile About... A warm smile breaks the ice... opens doors

When we make the effort to connect with others, a smile is a great opening act; we can project it outwards, by lifting our eyes to meet the gaze of another or demurely lowering our eyes as we flash a smile…  All help us move from a place of rigidity to a space of flexibility. It takes effort and it works…

Helping hands
A mother, wishing to encourage her son’s progress at the piano, bought tickets to a performance by the great Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski. When the evening arrived, they found their seats near the front of the concert hall and eyed the majestic Steinway waiting on the stage. Soon the mother found a friend to talk to, and the boy slipped away.
At eight o’clock, the lights in the auditorium began to dim, the spotlights came on, and only then did they notice the boy – up on the piano bench, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” His mother gasped in shock and embarrassment but, before she could retrieve her son, the master himself appeared on the stage and quickly moved to the keyboard.
He whispered gently to the boy, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side and improvised a delightful obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized with their blended and beautiful music.
In our lives, we receive helping hands – some we notice, some we don’t. We have countless opportunities to provide helping hands – sometimes we would like our assistance to be noticed, sometimes we don’t.  Little of what we achieve is without learning from others and without support from others; what we receive we should hand out.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  Leo F. Buscaglia

Inspiration: Something To Smile About... A big smile goes a long way to lifting our spirits.

When we find ourselves in trying situations or are feeling fear and discouragement, turning to a positive tool can help clear the air… Try a big hearty smile in front of a mirror before that difficult meeting… It can shift the debris.

Testing for gossip
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” “Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” “Triple filter?”
“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?” “No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and …”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?” “No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?” “No, not really …”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

We can always shift the gears on our thinking… More below. 🙂
“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”  Anthony J. D’Angelo

Inspiration: Something To Smile About... Give that first big smile to You!

No matter what’s going on in our lives, when we take a moment to step outside our worries and consider the struggles of others; we can find something to smile about… The sheer burden of carrying our wounds, our hurts and our fears can dissipate when we turn a smile on ourselves and affirm with a smile that … things are going to be okay; somehow, someway, and then believe it.

A Foot Has No Nose
Of the many interactions I had with my mother those many years ago, one stands out with clarity. I remember the occasion when mother sent me to the main road, about twenty yards away from the homestead, to invite a passing group of seasonal work-seekers home for a meal. She instructed me to take a container along and collect dry cow dung for making a fire. I was then to prepare the meal for the group of work-seekers.
The thought of making an open fire outside at midday, cooking in a large three-legged pot in that intense heat, was sufficient to upset even an angel. I did not manage to conceal my feelings from my mother and, after serving the group, she called me to the veranda where she usually sat to attend to her sewing and knitting.
Looking straight into my eyes, she said “Tsholofelo, why did you sulk when I requested you to prepare a meal for those poor destitute people?” Despite my attempt to deny her allegation, and using the heat of the fire and the sun as an excuse for my alleged behavior, mother, giving me a firm look, said “”Lonao ga lo na nko” – “A foot has no nose”. It means: you cannot detect what trouble may lie ahead of you.
Had I denied this group of people a meal, it may have happened that, in my travels some time in the future, I found myself at the mercy of those very individuals. As if that was not enough to shame me, mother continued: “Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe”. The literal meaning: “A person is a person because of another person”. Source: “African Wisdom” by Ellen K. Kuzwayo

We can make shifts in our lives and in the lives of others… Find time to smile… What are your thoughts? What makes you smile? How do you cheer yourself up when things seem down? Do you have any favorite jokes? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Share something that makes you smile. (Can be a photo, an idea, a memory – anything that comes to mind).  Read Zig Ziglar’s Something to Smile
Positive Motivation Tip:  There is much to smile about in life; find the stories and smile…
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:  All Photos  Warm smileBig smile, Starfishhelping hands, Air filter,  and  Foot, from Wikipedia… Smile Baby by Vata Bob via Flickr
Resource for Stories used…

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

56 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/09/2011 12:40 am

    A smile is the easiest thing to give someone 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 12:47 am

      I agree and that it takes us to wondrous places inside and out… 🙂

  2. 04/09/2011 12:49 am

    My work is on the phone with the poor to educate on chronic illness and it’s ramifications. I have been able to share a smile over the phone and have also received them over the phone. Amazing how a smile can work even if you can’t see it. It can be heard in the voice. So smile, even if you can’t see the person you converse with.

    • 04/09/2011 11:19 am

      That is so true Angeline! Telemarketers are trained to always smile when talking on the phone… the energy of a smile does carry and it helps us relieve some tension. 🙂

  3. 04/09/2011 1:21 am

    I find that it is true that If I smile while talking on the phone can make a difference in me and to the other person at the other end. Smiling lifts me up even if I am down. Great blog post today 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 11:21 am

      True! A smile can help us push past some of our tensions and struggle during the day. It doesn’t hurt to look in the mirror and crack a smile; just because.. we don’t need a reason and then it helps us shift our mood… I do believe it works… It’s not a gimmick to pretend, just a way to release some tension and move forward; especially during difficult days. TY! 🙂

  4. 04/09/2011 1:42 am

    The simplest gestures can make the biggest difference. Wonderful story about the starfish. I will remember that one. Thanks, Miriam

    • 04/09/2011 11:23 am

      I loved that story too… We can each make a difference – one at a time… small gestures by millions does add up. TY! 🙂

  5. 04/09/2011 4:05 am

    Happily i am a naturally smiley person. I love to smile.
    Nothing is nicer than a wave and a smile to people as you pass them by, it does not matter is they return the smile or a wave. In their mind and in their heart they will know that someone cared enough to acknowlege that they were there.

    • 04/09/2011 11:24 am

      I like that and while I can be serious, I do like a good laugh and a smile. It breaks the ice and helps people adjust. I think when we do it without expectation, it is a great thing too. TY! 🙂

  6. 04/09/2011 4:38 am

    like the starfish man, i save the earthworms when they come out of the ground when there is too much rain. people do think i’m mad.

    • 04/09/2011 4:41 am

      and, i do love the triple filter test

      • 04/09/2011 11:26 am

        Yes, the triple filter is terrific… Love that one. 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 11:25 am

      The starfish story is sweet… Now what’s the earthworm one…? 😉
      Missed that one; It’s all good! 😆

  7. 04/09/2011 6:05 am

    Yes, a warm smile and a touch goes along way. Living in a country where I can’t speak the language, I smile at people alot by way of an apology LOL 🙂 I also laugh at myself and my mistakes to encourage them to laugh with me not at me 🙁

    • 04/09/2011 11:29 am

      Yes, that is a great point because when we laugh at ourselves, we can relax and not get caught up in all the rigidities of trying to force fit into places that are new or unfamiliar. We give others a chance to help us. Plus, I believe that people help us when we show our humanity readily… TY! 🙂

  8. 04/09/2011 8:11 am

    Sometimes the smiles the students get from us at school are the only ones they’ll get all day. 🙁 So we all know how important smiles are. Nice post.

    • 04/09/2011 11:30 am

      TY and I cherish that thought… A smile does go a long way… 🙂

  9. 04/09/2011 9:19 am

    “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo F. Buscaglia
    frizz: often the smile is part of our masquerades – so a touch between friends, who to make you happy again, when you are sad: more influence than a smile. no influence: no smile. won’t get touched by a person who cannot smile 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 11:32 am

      As you like it… what works is what matters for each of us and I do love that Leo quote because it is so true. 🙂 I wouldn’t want an unsmiling person to touch me, frankly… TY! 🙂

  10. 04/09/2011 9:26 am

    Great post! Love the Triple Filter–must remember to use that on myself at times.

    • 04/09/2011 11:34 am

      Yes, I loved it too and have read a different version in the past… It is definitely something for me to remember to use… TY! 🙂

  11. 04/09/2011 10:55 am

    Excellent post. I shared the Socrates piece on my FB page. Another thoughtful, inspirational post. Thank you.

    • 04/09/2011 11:35 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and do have fun sharing it… I loved it too… Truth. Goodness. Usefulness. 🙂

  12. 04/09/2011 11:37 am

    So true. My colleague brought in photos of her daughter who just turned one. In one of the photos, she has a really big smile, her eyes crinkled up, her few teeth exposed. When I saw it, I just burst out laughing. It was so spontaneous and it brightened my day. Even now, when I think about the photo, I smile.
    I like the quote that a person is a person because of another person. Makes me think about hermits. I’ve always wondered how they live without human interaction. I mean, I can spend a day or even weekend in solitude – I like to withdraw so I can hear myself. But I need human contact, I need to have that other person.
    The triple filter sounds familiar, like a passage from the Bible. But it escapes me at the moment.
    Anyway, thanks for another great post and for making me smile.
    Happy Sunday!

    • 04/09/2011 9:12 pm

      TY Marcia, and I think there is a biblical connection to it.. but I don’t recall either… Yeah, Ellen’s mother set her straight and I know it informed her life as an activist. We all need contact and a smile… 🙂

  13. 04/09/2011 9:21 am

    three smiles for you – the distance is too far for a touch: from Germany

    • 04/09/2011 11:32 am

      TY Frizztext… very kind of you to share. 🙂

  14. 04/09/2011 12:42 pm

    The starfish story is one of my favorites. I’ve always said always carry a “SMILE”- 🙂

    We never know when that smile will make a person’s day seem brighter and puts a smile on their face. !! Great Post ElizOF !!

    • 04/09/2011 9:16 pm

      I like that line… and agree that we must carry a smile to cheer others and ourselves up… I appreciate your feedback Penny TY! 🙂

  15. 04/09/2011 1:50 pm

    Smiles are contagious! 😀

    • 04/09/2011 9:17 pm

      They sure are and we have laughed a lot together on this journey Nancy… Your dalmatians are still in my head. 😆

  16. 04/09/2011 11:39 am

    I really enjoyed your article. So often we do underestimate the value of a smile shared. It can totally change the tenor of someone’s day, and it costs us so little to give, not to mention what we receive in return.

    I have an interesting article on the smile:

    I hope you’ll enjoy it as an adjunct to this excellent piece.


    • 04/09/2011 9:14 pm

      Hi Orea,
      TY for the link… I will read it and leave a comment on your blog. Actually, I tried leaving comments earlier in the week but they didn’t seem to register… Let me know. 🙂

  17. 04/09/2011 3:13 pm

    People at work often ask me what I am high on, because I am always smiling, blessed with a positive outlook on life and I try to pass this along to everyone I meet. I tell them I am high on life. 🙂
    Eliz…this post was fantastic. I loved all of the photos and the little stories were amazing!
    Thank you for sharing your smiles with us. 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 9:19 pm

      TY Viv! Always glad to see you here and it brings back memories of the early blog days and sleepless nights… LOL! I love your energy and I’m glad we have stayed connected. 🙂

  18. 04/09/2011 5:15 pm

    Love it!
    That first picture is SO adorable that it made me smile right away when I saw it!
    I had heard that starfish story before, it’s a GREAT one, but the other 3 were new to me. I especially loved the piano one, it was so cute how the professional let the little boy play and added to the “Twinkle, Twinkle little star.” I could see where many people would have thrown a commotion and had the little boy removed so obviously that professional was a lover of both music and children. 🙂

    • 04/09/2011 10:00 pm

      TY for your insights and I enjoyed the stories too… 🙂 Yes, the maestro was a genius. 🙂

  19. 04/09/2011 5:19 pm

    Last spring a little girl came into my classroom and told us that she had smiled so much that day that “her cheeks hurt”. I made that phrase into a suncatcher that says… “Smile til your cheeks hurt”… And then I also made a page called “piles of smiles” Both are up in my classroom and at home. Such good reminders for me… thanks for your post..

    • 04/09/2011 10:31 pm

      TY for stopping by to share your links/ take on smiling… I really love it. I appreciate your visit and will stop by your blog to say hello soon. TY! 🙂

  20. 04/09/2011 10:37 pm

    You always find such amazing pictures – I love that first one! I also love that quote “A foot has no nose.” A good reminder.

    • 05/09/2011 3:00 am

      TY Broot! It was a fun exercise and I found pictures on Wikipedia and Flickr! I’m glad you loved it, as I did too. 🙂

  21. 05/09/2011 8:46 am

    A smile wakes a day. Here is one for you…:)

    • 05/09/2011 7:45 pm

      Thank you for the smile message and I’m sending one right back to you. 🙂

  22. 05/09/2011 11:36 am

    Your research astounds me. You must have a small library at your fingertips.

    As for smiling… it is definitely something that costs us nothing and makes such a difference in our world and the world of others.
    Great post!

    • 05/09/2011 7:48 pm

      Hi Barb,
      Thanks for your kind words… Wikipedia is my main resource and then anything I find elsewhere, but thank you really as I find some information in a serendipitous way… This has been a really surprising post because it was one of those … “what do I blog about today?” days! 🙂

  23. 05/09/2011 2:42 pm

    My son’s smile is the single quickest thing to make me smile! The thought of going home (although only for three days) next weekend also makes me smile.

    There’ve been a few times in depression that a smile’s helped pull me out from it. It always amazes me that one tiny gesture can have such a powerful impact. Actually, even just as recently as Saturday morning, I was feeling great . . . and then I passed by a lady who was just beaming. She said a “good morning!” full of joy and I found myself twice as happy after passing her as I was before.

    I’ve been through depression, sadness and joy, and I’ll take being the “Sunshine Girl” who annoys a bunch of people if there’s even a chance it help uplift one person who needs it. 🙂

    • 05/09/2011 7:53 pm

      I agree with you and I anoint you the Sunshine Girl Deborah!!! I hope you are holding up okay and doing the best you can… Your writing sizzles and so even in the sad places is a song that shines through… I find that I seek ways to stay uplifted especially in these hard times … It is not always easy but I have seen that the perseverance pays dividends… for that I am grateful. 🙂

  24. 05/09/2011 6:40 pm

    Love the smiles – all of them – it’s so true – it’s just as easy to go through the day with a smile! And the starfish story is one of my favorites. 🙂

    • 05/09/2011 7:54 pm

      Thank you for your comment… Yeah, that starfish story rocked it… and a simple lesson too. Smiling is a goal for me these days; even a goofy one is fine for me too. lol! 😆

  25. 06/09/2011 5:59 am

    I loved all of these stories. Great post.

    • 07/09/2011 10:45 pm

      TY Tilly! I loved them too… thanks for your feedback. 😉

  26. 06/09/2011 6:19 pm

    This post brought a smile to my day. Smile heals and open doors to friendships.thank you.

    • 07/09/2011 10:48 pm

      TY too for the comments … smiles do heal and open doors; love that much and it’s so true. 😉


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