Recently my family and I spent two weeks on the beautiful island of Jamaica. Every time I go to Jamaica I am blown away by the amazing people and stunning scenery, but the scenery and people are not why I am writing this. This story is about my son, well actually what he gave. As some of you know, I am blessed to have a three and a half year old little boy. For those of you that are parents, you know that going out for dinner can be an interesting event, and can be a little bit of a test.
On one particular evening we were enjoying dinner in a restaurant on the resort, sitting at another table about 10 feet away, another family was attempting to enjoy their dinner as well. Their little boy was quite upset for one reason or another, and was making a great effort to ensure that those at adjoining resorts knew of his discontent. Notwithstanding the effort of his parents to console him, this little vacationer was intent on not letting go of whatever it was that was perturbing him. A friend of mine calls this a “Crying Show,” and this “Crying Show” continued for some period of time.
After about five or six minutes, my son without prompting got up from the table and made his way to the other table. His back was to me, and I couldn’t see what he was doing or saying. When he returned to our table after a few moments I asked him, “What did you say to the little boy?” He responded, “Nothing.” I persisted, “Well what did you do?” He looked up at me and very simply stated, “I was making funny faces at him so he would smile.” At which time he proceeded to show me the facial contortions that he had employed to not only cause the little boy at the other table to smile, but nearly everyone in the entire restaurant.
We’ve been known to complicate life, and all that goes with it. We’ve been known to focus on “things” that are anything but important in the bigger picture. We’ve been known to let what’s really and truly important slip through our fingers. The reality is, it’s about people, it’s about relationships and it’s about giving to all of those around us.
What do you have to give, you ask? A Smile! In the words of my 3-year-old son, “I made funny faces at him so he would smile.” You don’t have to contort your face to make someone smile, all you have to do is, SMILE.
It doesn’t matter who, where you are or what’s going on in your life. It doesn’t matter what someone has said or done, and it’s irrelevant what their response to you is. You have no idea what’s going on in another person’s life, you don’t know what they are experiencing, and it really doesn’t matter. Your smile just may be the only positive experience in their life today.
Make funny faces so they smile.