An important reminder about the value of a smile

Black Friday and Cyber Monday followed by just about every Christmas and holiday special you can imagine on TV. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so goes the song.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in shopping, attending parties, and taking care of holiday business that we forget about the people who make this great world go around. A question that a friend of mine often posed was, “At the end of the day today was the world a little bit better because of you or in spite of you?” It would be great if it was always the former, especially during the holidays.

In Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he touches on 30 common-sense principles in dealing with people. The simplest was only one word: SMILE. He absolutely was not talking about that fake expression that some seem to put on like a mask. He was talking about the real thing, and the real thing comes from the inside out, not just that facial expression.

In this spirit, quoted below is a message that Dale Carnegie read in the ads for a certain retail establishment at the time he wrote the book. I believe the message is as applicable today as it was then:

The Value of a Smile at Christmas
It 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 that they can get along without it, and none so poor but 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 till it is given away.
And if, in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying, some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask that you leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy New Year!

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