Saturday, January 1, 2011

Smiles On Your Faces

Today, I once again visited the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Florida to walk the Labyrinth. A friend of mine joined us for the walk and this was the first time that she had ever been around a labyrinth.

On our way up the elevator to where the labyrinth is located, a cancer patient was getting on the elevator at the same time. She made the comment that she just had chemotherapy and today was the good day but she knew that the next two days were going to be rough. While I'm not sure exactly what happens in chemotherapy, she briefly explained that the following two days was the body's time of flushing all the bad stuff out. From the little I know about cancer, chemotherapy is a pretty rough ordeal to go through.

The part that got my attention was how much this lady was smiling and so warm and friendly. Her smile lit up the entire elevator and you could not help but smile back at her. Yet, one could understand the horror that she was facing in life. It hit me so much that a person who was going through what she is going through, was able to look at others and give them a smile that would really impact their day. She was not worried about what she was going through. She was more concerned with how we were doing on this day.

And I remember her parting words as she left the elevator, "it is great to see smiles on all your faces because that helps give me hope and a smile." Here was compassion through a smile that is so often missing in our society of greed and the quest for power and control. Just one smile made a big difference. Just one smile shared with us, helped warm the hearts of everyone in that elevator.

Think about the smile that you can give many people in your day and just for a moment, stop and realize how powerful that is to others. All it takes is asking your face muscles to make a smile. That's it! That's all! It is that simple! Yet, that simple act is so powerful. It can give hope to someone who is facing insurmountable odds. It can brighten someone's day. A smile can drastically change life for someone and you may not even realize just how true that is in the moment.

All too often we use our facial muscles to create words of fear, hate, and judgment upon others. We all know how harmful this is to other people, ourselves included, and also to the entire world. For what we do to one another spreads beyond that simple moment of what we say. Instead of using our facial muscles to scream or rant and rave or sit in judgment of another person, why not use these muscles to share a smile that may very likely change the world in a positive way.

This is one reason I started the Give A Smiley Project that you can find on my website at www.donshetterly.com . Just look for the smiley on the page (or the word smiley as I am in the processing of redesigning the website). You'll see what the Give A Smiley Project is all about. It isn't about money, fame or riches. It is about passing a Smiley on to someone that you know or someone that needs a smiley so that it impacts their day. On my website, I've got a page full of smileys that you can download, print and mail or give out to those you meet and those you know.

The concept of the Give A Smiley Project is based in part on the concept portrayed in the movie, "Pay It Forward". This means that if you receive a smiley or are impacted by it that you pass it on.

I hope one day that these smileys will reach all across the world and touch the lives of many. That is my hope because I believe that a smiley can make such a big difference in the life of someone that may be facing difficult circumstances. It may seem like a small act of kindness to you but to someone else, it may greatly impact their day. I send out one smiley every week to some person and every time I place it in the mailbox, it warms my heart.

May your heart be warmed by the Give A Smiley Project and may you do this to help impact our world in a positive way. Ask yourself, who can I give a smiley to at this very moment? Then, go and do it! Don't wait for another day because the timing of today may be for a reason.


Blog Post & Images (c) 12/5/10 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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