Thursday, November 18, 2010

**********Remember to Smile**********

                                                   A Happy Gaze
                                          When one is truly happy
                                          Their face is all aglow,
                                          With laughing eyes
                                          And endless smiles
                                          That surely let you know.
                                          And though a perfect stranger
                                          May not know what’s taken place,
                                          To His surprise
                                          A similar smile
                                          Is now upon His face…….

I wrote the above poem in 1978 while on my lunch break during my first job ever, it was in Manhattan. It was so invigorating just being part of the crowds and hustle bustle of the streets of New York.

I had gone out for lunch because everything was so alive, just walking on the busy street made one feel productive and part of something tremendous.

I remember that they were running some type of campaign ad, looking for a new slogan for the I Love N.Y theme for the upcoming tourist season. I always felt anytime was tourist season for New york, but what did I know. Being early March it was a crisp, clear, bright sunny day; and I was in full poem mode ( when am I not).

So, I was paying close attention to my surroundings for inspiration. Looking up at the sky scrappers, watching the horse drawn carriages parked all along side of the Plaza Hotel, and I just started to smile from way deep inside, I could feel my cheeks hurting.

In my head I started to form a list of words that I thought I could use for a slogan: and all at once it hit me.. Call it:                 
                                                    The Definition

                                                        New York.......

I was ecstatic, at eighteen I thought it was genius, and would make the perfect billboard; but also being eighteen I failed to get it out in time. However, when I had finished it in my mind I was overflowing with giddiness.
I had a bounce in my step, a huge grin on my face, and I began to notice that as I was passing the people coming in the opposite direction, they all began to smile back at me with the same show of enthusiasm.

Naturally, still in writer mode I couldn't wait to get back to my office and put my thoughts on paper. It was just amazing, for the next six blocks or so, every person that passed me smiled as if greeting an old friend.
There were none of those half smiles, or nod gestures, they were genuine smiles, just like the one I was wearing.

I thought to myself, wow, you know how many of us are going to have a happier, better afternoon; and all because a bunch of strangers shared a few seconds of joy.
That's what smiles are, they're joyful little gifts that we get to share for free whenever we feel like it...

So, I hope after reading this, you felt a smile coming on, and perhaps, during the course of your busy day, you might just look up and decide to share a smile with a total stranger passing you on the street; getting to share a little joy yourselves.
 Have a happy and Blessed day.... Patricia VanDenburg©


  1. How true...A small action like a smile... can change a person's day and maybe a life...

  2. I love the poem Patricia and i couldn't agree more about smiles. I always try to smile at the people who look grumpiest as we never know what is wrong in their lives. It is amazing how they first look shocked on seeing a genuine warm smile from a stranger, then pleased and eventually they smile back at you.
    I believe we should always smile when on a telephone too. It isn't just when people see us that a smile is recognised, as a smile carries in the voice over a phone too.