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[caption id="attachment_5478" align="alignright" width="203"] Blog by Associate Colette Parker[/caption] I smiled at a lady in a grocery store a couple of days ago. She smiled back and said “Hi.” I said “Hi. How are you?” She said “better now” and went on to explain that she was having a rough day, but that my smile lifted her spirits. It’s amazing that a simple smile – something that costs us nothing and takes little effort -- can brighten someone’s day in a moment’s notice. St. Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Like St. Teresa, other spiritual teachers and scientists agree that a smile can transform you and the world around you. Research, and common sense, shows us that a smile is contagious; that it lifts our mood and the moods of those around us; and that it reduces stress. A smile expresses a message of happiness, hope, and love to anyone who sees it. A smile makes others feel welcome, accepted, and appreciated. Too often, we underestimate the power of a smile. A smile has the power to turn someone’s whole day around, like the lady in the grocery store. We all have the power to pass on hope, love, and happiness to others, with a simple smile. In his poem “The Power of a Smile”, rap legend Tupac Shakur puts it this way:

The power of a gun can kill, and the power of fire can burn

The power of wind can chill, and the power of the mind can learn

The power of anger can rage inside until it tears you apart

But the power of a smile, especially yours, can heal a frozen heart

Go ahead, put a genuine smile on your face and brighten someone’s day.

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