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A Gift that Anyone Can Give

We’re all searching for perfect gifts, Christmas Wish List gifts and surprise gifts. 

            Are all gifts wrapped in green paper and tied with red ribbons?  Are all gifts bought?  Are all gifts something to hold or build or wear or eat?  Certainly not. I’m reminded of this when I read, for the umpteenth thousand time, the words on a sheet of yellowed paper. The paper that was taped to the inside of Mom’s kitchen cabinet, and I’ve had it on my desk for thirty years.

A Gift that Anyone Can Give……..A Smile

It costs nothing, but saves much. 

It enriches those who receive it, without impoverishing those who give. 

It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it; none so poor that he is not enriched by it. 

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friends. 

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sick, and nature’s best antidote for trouble. 

It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is no earthly good to anyone until it is given away. 

If you meet someone too burdened with grief or worry to smile, just give him one of yours.

For nobody needs a smile so much as he who has none left to give.

Anonymous Author

            I wish I knew the author of these words.  I’ve searched online and found many similar writings, but none exactly like the one Mom saved.

            I wish I knew from what booklet or yearbook Mom cut out this writing.  It was printed during the days of mimeograph machines, and the right top corner of the page has the number 13.  The paper is fragile. The message is strong and timeless.

            Perhaps no one needs a smile as much as those who work in the service industry, especially now.  They are expected to serve graciously, yet may not be greeted with smiles and appreciation.  Last week I watched a postal worker interact with three people.  She didn’t smile, but didn’t frown.  She did her job.  She took payment, put stamps on boxes, and stacked the boxes onto a big metal cart.

            Thinking of Mom’s clipped writing, I imagined she was weary at 4:00 on a Monday afternoon.  “You are working so hard and being so kind,” I said and I smiled as I handed her an envelope.  “I’m trying,” she said.  We chatted as she looked up how much postage is needed on a Christmas card going out of the country, put a stamp on the envelope, and took my money.

            Before I walked away, I smiled my biggest and wished her a happy rest of the day. She put both her hands on the post office counter, smiled, and said, “Thanks, I’ll keep trying.”             Her smile and positive attitude have stayed with me.  I appreciate her gift. 


One Response

  1. Loved this 😊

    Kat Rust Bobkatsr@gmail.com



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