Smile if you love it

By Mary Nicholson

Often on our blog posts you’ll find references to dairy products of one sort or another.  Well, this blog contains a totally different dairy product – the “Milk of Human Kindness”.  Taken from William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, that phrase simply means kindness and sympathy shown to others.  It’s not something you’ll find in the grocery store, nor is it regulated by the USDA.  So what’s this all about?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 is World Kindness Day, and that’s certainly something we can all be a part of. The World Kindness Movement was formed in 1997 in Tokyo.  The United States was one of the founding members, along with Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.  Along with the original countries, Brazil, France, India, Italy, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Scotland, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates are current members.  The cosmos bipinnatus was adopted as the official flower of the World Kindness Movement.

So how can you make November 13 meaningful?  It’s pretty easy, really.  It’s not about solving issues as big as the unrest in the Middle East or world hunger.  Wouldn’t it be great if those problems could be solved with just a bit of kindness? World Kindness Day is more about simple forms of kindness, such as smiling at a stranger, giving a compliment to someone, or holding the door open for the person behind you.

You might be surprised how contagious a smile can be.  I dare you to watch this and not at least crack a smile.  There are many reasons why smiling is good for you.  Around our house, my husband has a phrase he uses, especially with our son when he was a teenager.  There may have been a discussion with differing opinions and disagreement, but when my husband would say “Smile if you love it”, it never failed to ease the tension and put at least a smirk on the face of said teenager.  If you’re still not convinced, walk into a nursing home and smile.  That could be the highlight of someone’s day that lives there.  As the song goes “when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you”…  This could be one of many theme songs for World Kindness Day, couldn’t it?

If you need some ideas, check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website.  There are a lot of great stories and videos about peoples’ kindness to others.  And on November 13, let’s toast the day with the milk of human kindness.

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