A riddle for you

I have a riddle for you. What is it that costs nothing but creates much? It enriches those who receive without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None are so rich they can get along without it and none so poor, but both are richer for its benefits. It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business and is the countersign of friends. It is rest to the weary daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody until it is given away. Some have said it’s the window to the heart or soul.

Give up? The answer is a bit silly, yet so important in this time. The answer is a smile. I bring this up because recently I was told that I didn’t smile enough. I always looked like I was mad. I could be discouraged or thinking deep thoughts, but others don’t know that. Well, that bothered me. So, I did an experiment and intentionally chose to smile whenever possible and I thought others needed it. To my amazement, it had the desired effect I had hoped would happen. People didn’t think me strange enough to report me. Most times, I was returned a smile and even began a pleasant conversation. I like to think it made the other person’s day go a bit better when all they had been given were scowls and apathy. I especially attempt to smile at small children as I pass. They truly need to see joy in this world.

Allow your spirit to be lifted and lightened. Show the delight and joy of your heart. We are going through some tough times, so now is the time to share the hope. Remember, nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give. There are plenty of those people around you.

By Retired Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Ray Bailey

Former Deputy Chief of Chaplains