From the Teacher's Desk

Leonard Quilty
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Smile – you’ll be glad you did!

I’ve heard it said a smile is the closest distance between two people. Besides increasing our face value, a smile can lighten up a room and endear us to others.


I’ve heard it said a smile is the closest distance between two people. Besides increasing our face value, a smile can lighten up a room and endear us to others.

With that in mind, here’s an experiment you can try today or tomorrow. Everyone you meet, friend or strangers, give them a smile. Then at the end of the day take stock of how your day went.

It’s very likely the quality of your day will have exceeded your expectations.

Now, to add even more vigour to your life, besides giving everyone you meet a smile, make a definite plan to compliment at least three of those people.

Arnold H. Glasgow said, “Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.”

Who can deny the feeling of euphoria at the sound of words of praise? Edifying remarks have the power to supercharge our self-confidence.

It’s a natural human tendency to want to discuss things we find interesting. Knowing that, why not launch yourself into that special group of go-getters who lead a charmed life by going out of your way to engage three other people in a conversation about themselves and their interests?

Maybe you’re already in that mode of behavior, but if not, I dare you to try it tomorrow. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Somewhat related to the above, I read an interesting quote recently by Mahatma Gandhi: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

As you’re reading this, the Christmas season is quickly approaching. At this special time of year, an expression that’s often heard is – ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’.

No doubt many would agree t universal peace is a difficult goal to attain. How can we ever reach that goal?

As we get ready to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, it behooves us to find ways and means to bring about peace.

One word or pleasing smile is often enough to raise up a saddened and wounded soul. – Therese of Lisieux

Even though the efforts we make on an individual basis (i.e. smiling at, complimenting and engaging others, for example), may not make a great difference in terms of the global community; but the difference those efforts make in our local community can serve as a point of light to encourage others to do likewise.

Blessed Mother Teresa, in reference to the work of the Missionaries of Charity, once said, “What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Who knows what difference a kind word or a smile can make? To a stranger we meet, who may be shouldering some heavy burden, it could be a ray of hope along their way.

In this regard, I’m reminded once again of the story of the elderly gentleman walking on the beach, who saw someone in the distance leaning down to pick up something and throw it in the water. As he got closer, he noticed it was a young man picking up starfish one by one and throwing them gently into the water.

The older man asked him, “Why are you doing that?”

The younger man replied, “If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

When he heard this, the older man reminded the younger man there were miles and miles of beach and starfish along every mile, so he couldn’t possibly make a difference.

The young man bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Leonard Quilty is a teacher with the Center for Learning@Home in Okotoks, Alberta. He can be reached by e-mail at ‘’, or follow him on Twitter ‘@leonardquilty’.

Organizations: Center for Learning

Geographic location: Okotoks, Alberta

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page