I made someone smile!
My son Aaron has been bugging my wife and me to take him to the library for the summer reading program. So this afternoon I took him. Aaron had to go to a table to sign up. The table was run by two volunteers—a boy and a girl. I would guess they were 13 or 14 years old. The girl reminded me of what I imagine the Smiling Daffodil was like when she was a child.
So me being the person that I am—I looked at the girl and said, “It’s alright to smile.”
She did and blushed really red.
I said, “that’s better. See how pretty you can be if you smile more?”
I smacked Aaron in the back of the head and asked if he was ready to go and we walked away.
I have no certainty that my words will have a long term effect on this timid, insecure girl. I remembered a story from the Smiling Daffodil’s childhood and the individuals that did everything to prevent her from smiling for a long time. I thought a little bit of a positive boost to the ego at 13 couldn’t hurt and might actually help this girl at the library.
There are several Dale Carnegie principles Tyrone used in this scenario. The most striking is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 17. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Being a kid between the ages of 10 – 14 is awkward, oftentimes unpleasant and jam-packed with insecurities. As ancient as Tyrone is (haha) he still has the ability to remember and understand those difficult years of childhood. Instead of ignoring or dismissing the girl as someone else’s problem—he did what he could to make her smile.
The lesson I hope you take from this story—don’t live your life oblivious to the needs of other people—young or old. Do what you can to make them smile—do what you can to change their perspective. When you do this you demonstrate your compassion for other individuals—and odds are you will experience a more meaningful, happy life as a result.
Tyrone found a way to make lemonade from lemons that were thrown at the Smiling Daffodil in her childhood. Nice job!