This is a favorite slogan of mine for several reasons, none of them dealing with Twizzlers (which are disgusting IMO).

Last night, I stopped to get a tank of gas and a gallon of chocolate milk, and as I waited in line, the clerk looked tired. So, she gives me the standard “how are you doing”, I give her a big smile with my response. She looks up, sees the smile, how someone is noticing her, and it was like a load was lifted off her shoulders. She stood up straighter, her voice lifted, and as she gave me the standard “see you next time” that this gas station is known for, the tiredness was gone.

I try my hardest on a daily basis to be in the hallways in the morning, smiling, making eye contact, and greeting kids by name. Just that act of noticing students coming down the hallway, even though they may not want to be noticed, gives them a little bounce in their step. I’ve had staff comment that my noticing them, calling them by name, and how it lifts their spirits on down days.

This has never been by design, to greet people this way. It’s just how I interact with people. Everyone loves to be called by their name rather than the “Hey you!” The funny this is, I’m terrible with names, absolutely horrible! Right after my stroke, I was even worse, and thankfully, my wife and daughters helped me pick up the slack that my brain could not (“Who is that again??). But slowly, my brain has begun to regain some of it’s old shape, and I’ve learned a few tricks to remember things better (still forgetful, as my wife would attest to), but it’s better.


The whole point of this rambling thing is to make sure that you are being that light who shines just a little bit brighter for those around you. Find those people, those things, those experiences which make you happy and bring a smile to your face. Pass that smile along to someone else, and watch it spread. It costs no money or time. The only cost to you, a little energy expended by moving those beautiful facial muscles. After that, watch what you did ripple around you, expanding out in larger circles. We all know it’s hard to be mad around someone smiling.

Plus, it makes your mouth happy! 🙂