"You can give the poor even your life, but if you don't give it with a smile, you give them nothing." Mother Teresa.
(The story that appears below was sent to me by an acquaintance. I thank her.)
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called "Smile."
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reaction. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say, hello anyway ... so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to a hotel, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch ... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body smell" and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling". His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentle man was his salvation. I held my tears ... as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. To sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something, and they just wanted to be warm.
Then I really felt it ... the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me ... judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you ... God is here working through me to give you hope." I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.
When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me honey ... to give me hope." We held hands for a moment. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it ... then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
A smile costs us nothing,but it lights up someone's life.When we smile we spread good cheer and hope. We open the door to happiness - both for ourselves and others. And when we give with a smile the giving is treasured. Once we make a habit of giving with a smile, it will rub off on our children to bring them a share of happiness. We owe it to them.