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Validation: Making life better one smile at a time

16 Mar 2010

Isn’t it great to meet someone who makes you smile? Especially when the day is not unfolding positively, it is just awesome while in a random place someone you don’t even know tells you something that makes the day a little better. Receiving validation is a great thing!

When I was in my late teens I worked at the mall, working retail at Sears. While working there I met a girl named Sunshine. She was a beautiful black girl with tons of style, a love for hats and a contagious personality. At some point she decided that I needed to smile more and she was going to make that happen. She would grab me at break time, literally pull me by my arm and out into the mall.

As we walked around she would watch people and when she saw someone who looked down she would walk up to them and say, “I bet you have a great smile!” She would smile at them in such a way and once the person started to smile a little she would acknowledge it saying, “There it is! I knew it was a great smile! Why do you want to keep that yourself?” The person’s body language would improve and they would walk away with a growing smile, standing a little taller. This would happen person after person and I believe it really changed the mood of the mall, people seemed happier on the walk back to work. I know I was.

It is not something I do enough of now, but I still try to make someone smile now and then. At the grocery store, at work and other random places. It’s uncomfortable at first, it is so much easier to just think about it and not act. But it is so rewarding to think about it and act. It’s so simple, I really need to make it more of a habit.

I haven’t seen Sunshine in years. Last time I ran into her she was at a Korean church learning the language and still smiling. Maybe you’ve met her, you would know if you had, because you would have left smiling.  Or, maybe you are just like her and are already bringing out smiles from those around you!

It is just too easy to be critical and cranky.  Besides the world is full of those kind of people.  Why not start trying to bring out a few smiles every day, you might just be a happier person because of it!

The following movie short “Validation” by Kurt Kuenne is a fun look at how one person can have a positive affect on so many people. I know, it just a movie, right? Well give it a try, even if you aren’t able to make others feel a little better I’ll bet you will!

SMILE!  Why keep that great smile all to yourself?

A girl smiling or laughing.
Image via Wikipedia
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  1. Hi Jim –
    What a great post! Not to pat myself on the back, but I try to brighten someone’s day each time I go out, whether by a smile or some small kindness. It’s just such an easy thing to do, yet means so much to one who is lonely, sad, or hurting. Thanks so much for your story. Maybe it will encourage others to “Pass it on.”
    Also, thank you for your comment on my “Just Say Hi” post. I am guilty of not visiting older relatives in nursing homes as often as I should have. After the eight months my mom spent in a facility, dying of dementia complications, I will be more sensitive to how much visits mean to both the resident and the family. My best, Candy

    • Thanks Candy… always nice to hear from a new reader! Keep on passing out those small kindnesses, it really does make a difference.

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