Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
At the local nursing home I learned – all over again – the power of a smile. As a Deacon in my church I know the value of approaching life in general, and troubled souls specifically, with kindness in your heart and mind. When that kindness is expressed with a smile, it creates common ground. Nowhere is this more evident that when you smile at elders in a nursing home and say hello. The transformation is amazing. Faces pulled down by the weight of being alone, or old, or by the never-never land of dementia, light up like candles in a dark room. Is it because for a moment the individual feels validated, real and present, acknowledged by someone who took time to smile and perhaps say a word of greeting? Or maybe she sees in that smile a vision of herself as she was, and still is. Behind the façade of age or mental illness or physical limitations, he sees that someone cares.
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do,” Mother Teresa said. Smile, you never know who needs it, and it will make a difference, mostly in you. _______________________
Note: This short reading will be included in a book I’m working on entitled 365 Ways to Make the World a Better Place (working title). I value your thoughts and comments. I also welcome short essays about what you think will make the world a better place. Personal experiences that have made a difference are welcome as well. It can be your experience or the story of someone you know. With permission, I will use the item in my book.