Every time you smile st someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
That's my current favorite quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta. I have always believed that, and she said it well and from a place of authority. Her smile was captured by many and nourished many, because it matched her actions.
This is one of those lessons I would really wish for my children to take to heart. Not everything is about great deeds, life-altering gifts. Often, the difference between hope and dread or discouragement is found in the little things we do for each other each moment of every day: the small, sincere gestures of respect, appreciation and love.
A greeting: "Good morning!", "How are you?"
That powerful smile.
These can never become cliche as long as they are sincere and meant to engage each other. In fact, plenty of research has validated the importance of human touch to both infants, children and adults alike, and I think our words and expressions are gifts we give to one another, too.
I am a strong proponent of the smile. Like many others I don't know how to make a big change in this world. I'm not sure I can with my resources. But I do know I can perform little acts with great love, as St Therese of Lisieux proposed. And if we all had such an aim day in and day out to impact as many people as possible in a positive way? I think we could change the world indeed. Together.
So smile, my friends. Smile at the child who seems lonely or shy, the stranger at the store, the morose teenager, the stressed commuter and the disgruntled coworker. That many little acts of love dispensed throughout the day can only make us and our world happier.