• Stephanie Hammond

What value a smile?

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa, who opened her first Calcutta slum school in 1949 and established her Missionaries of Charity order. She died on September 5, 1997, my 50th birthday.

Yes, a smile is a very powerful thing. We were at the supermarket one day when we saw a group of happy Uni students moving through the mall. A few of them took time to slow down and smile at this gorgeous little girl, about 4 years old. We were surprised and thrilled at her reaction. She ran joyfully up to her parents shouting: "They smiled at me! They smiled at me!" We were surprised that this was her reaction, thinking that she would have had lots of smiles in her young gorgeous life. Maybe she did. Still we were thrilled that a smile gave her so much pleasure and it reinforced the truth of Mother Teresa's comment - a smile is a wonderful gift, a beautiful thing, an act of love. I love to smile! I love to be smiled at. When you smile at me, I do feel loved.

This photo is of a young boy in India who welcomed us with the wonderful gift of joy in his eyes and smile. (2007)

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