Value in Focus: Smile
“I am going to smile at everyone I meet today,” announces Rocky, deciding. ”Oh really, why?” questions Melissa. “It is a good idea to smile at people instead of frowning at them,” answers Lindsay. “That is so true,” adds Jennifer.
“I know why Rocky wants to smile all day. It is because today is ‘World Smile Day’, says Jason. “I haven’t heard about this before,” says Melissa, wonderingly. “What a good thing to celebrate,” speaks Lindsay. “I hope when I smile at someone, they smile back,” thinks Jenny. “Let’s try it outing the street outside,” enthuses Melissa.
The five friends go walking on the main road outside their houses. They smile at the people they meet. Some smile back but those in a hurry, just walk past.
“I have an idea. Come with me to my house,” invites Jennifer. The others follow. “What have you in mind sis?” asks her brother, Jason. “Come to my room first,” replies Jenny.
They go to her room. “I have lots of chart paper left over from my last school project. My idea is to make badges with them and write ‘World Smile Day’ on them. We can distribute them at the newly opened mall near us. What do you think guys?” questions Jenny.
“It’s a super idea, Jen,” answers Lindsay. “Remember to smile at the people too,” reminds Rocky. “Let’s do it,” enthuses Melissa. “I didn’t know my sister was smart, of course not as smart as me,” laughs Jason. “Well, now you know bro,” giggles his sister.
The friends disperse for lunch and their afternoon nap, deciding to meet early evening. At around four, they gather at Jenny’s house and walk to the mall. The friends enter the mall and station themselves near the entrance. They hand over a badge with a smile to the shoppers entering the mall. The people appreciate their effort and reciprocate saying “‘Happy Smile Day’ to you too.”
After some time, the badges are nearly over. They are about to return home when Rocky notices an old man sitting on one of the benches, placed at the side. He has a sad grumpy expression.
“Do you have one more badge with you Jenny?” asks Rocky. “Yes, I do. Is there someone you want to give it to?” questions Jennifer. “I do. Pass it to me,” answers Rocky.
He walks towards the old man sitting on the bench. The others follow him. “Oh no, Rocky should stay away from that grumpy man. He has such a frown on his face,” worries Melissa. Rocky stands in front of the elderly gentleman and says, ‘Happy Smile Day’ Sir. I have a smile badge for you.” He hands over the badge and smiles broadly.
The man looks at the badge and turns away. “I have nothing to smile about,” says the man, with irritation written on his face.
Jason says, “I suppose you are having a bad day. It happens to all of us. Why don’t you tell us what is making you sad on ‘World Smile Day.’
“Maybe we can help you feel better. You know, we have taken a pledge to put a smile on all sad faces today,” speaks Lindsay. “We made these badges ourselves. Don’t you like it?” asks Melissa. “Do share your problem with us, it will make you feel better,” implores Jennifer.
The gentleman looks them over and says, “It is my birthday today but my son and grandchildren have forgotten about it.”
“Do they live here?” asks Rocky. “My son has gone to India with his family on an official assignment last week. He didn’t even bother to call me on my 75th birthday. I suppose I’m too old to expect anyone to wish me,” replies the gentleman.
“I know why he hasn’t called you. It will be early morning in India right now. Maybe your son is still asleep. Don’t worry. He will call you as soon as he gets up,” consoles Jason, with a wide smile.
“Do you think he will remember?” asks the man, hopefully. “Sure he will. We will stay with you till your son calls,” adds Jason.
The man smiles slightly and makes space for the five to sit with him. They talk about their families, school, and friends. About twenty minutes later, the gentleman’s cell phone rings. He answers the call and his face breaks into the loveliest smile ever. He talks affectionately to his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. He finishes the call and looks at Jason with thankfulness in his eyes.
“You were right. My son didn’t forget my birthday. I’m so happy to have met all of you. You really understand the meaning of a smile. I was about to switch off my cell phone thinking my son had forgotten me. Thank you, kids, for your company and encouragement. As a token of my appreciation, I would love to celebrate my birthday with you all. Come let’s go to the pastry corner down the block.”
Rocky, Melissa, Lindsay, Jason, and Jenny accompany the gentleman to the pastry corner and enjoy a wonderful treat. Afterwards, they bid goodbye to the gentleman, saying ‘Keep Smiling’.
Celebrating World Smile Day – October 6th, 2017
Written By: Amita is a Story Writer and a Spiritual Writer.
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