I often reflect upon an experience I had in India a couple of years ago.

I was walking along the street in a small beach resort in Kerala, the south of India, and I noticed a man standing on one leg (he only had one leg).  He was holding a large cluster of balloons for sale.

He shouted out to me “hey, I remember you, you were here last February!”  That was true, but a year had passed and I was so shocked that he remembered, that I was stopped in my tracks.

I went up to him and asked “How do you remember me?”  His reply humbled me to the very core.  He said…”I remember you because every time you walked by you would smile at me”.

Here I was traipsing around the world (on two legs) and here he was limited to a tiny spot and probably had never left this village.

The lesson is in the ‘smile’ and how much they can mean to those with whom you share them.

How do you feel when someone smiles at you?  Just smiles, without any discernible motive, just simply smiles – offering you the gifts of affection and recognition?  You feel warm and for that brief moment, you feel  ‘noticed’.

How do you feel when you smile at someone?  A smile shows for a split second that you care, you share and you acknowledge.  It makes you feel happy too….doesn’t it?

‘A smile costs nothing’ and is of particular value when you know that the person you are directing your smile to – needs it so very badly.  The more desolate a being seems, the more potent and valuable the gift.

Leave a trail of smiles behind throughout your life.  Smile inwardly and smile outwardly. Smile every day for no particular reason. Who knows, your smiles may become contagious. One by one these smiles may be passed on and soon we shall all be smiling.


A smile costs nothing, but it 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 that they can get along without it,

and none are so poor but are richer for a smile.

 It creates happiness in the home,

fosters goodwill 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.

It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,

for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody

‘til it is given away.

 And if it ever happens

that some people should be too tired to give you a smile,

why not leave one of yours?

 For nobody needs a smile so much

as those who have none left to give.

by Author Unknown



5 thoughts on “Smile!

  1. hello ann i know this incident . i know that man also. you still remember these things i think it was two year before. you are a nice person thats why you can remember this things after long time and we all are know how much energy you are spreading to the world we all are love you
    e b health and beauty

    • Hello Prasanth, it was such a lovely surprise when I received this message. It made me feel so ‘special’ and every time I think of it, it makes me smile! What a truly gorgeous gift you have given to me. I miss you and look forward to coming back to Kerala soon. My love to you….

  2. Hi, I loved reading this, thank you. I was recently in East Africa and I found myself smiling from ear to ear all day everyday! It occurred to me that back home in Melbourne, in the street we don’t smile as easily or as often. I found that in Africa I had complete permission to smile my biggest smile everywhere I went, and it was met with other big white smiles smiling back. I think in countries that are less fortunate with material things , that the people find happiness in the moment, they live, minute to minute. Completely immersed in the the now! I was a little sad to realize that we have become afraid of expressing ourselves openly and honestly in the western world, too caught up in what we have, or don’t have. Missing the beauty of NOW! Namaste

  3. Hi Brooke, yes, my sentiments exactly. That is why I called my tour to Kerala, India, ‘Land of 1000 Smiles’. The name came about because in one day I lost count of how many times I had been offered a smile. Such a small thing….with such a big impact! Thank you for keeping in touch. It was lovely to hear from you……

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