A smile costs nothing but give so much.

It enriches those who receive it without making poorer those who give it.

It takes but a moment but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich or mighty that they can get along without it,

And no one is so poor that they cannot be made rich by it.

A smile creates happiness in the home,

fosters goodwill in business and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheerfulness to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,

and it is nature’s best antidote in times of trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,

for it is something that is of no value to anyone unless it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile.

Give them one of yours, As no one needs a smile so much as those who have no more to give.


**This is not a poem by me. This is a poem that has a large but quiet following and I do not know where or when it comes from. Growing up we had a copy of this in our family’s toilet so I had it memorised well before I hit puberty. The other two things in this sacred room were mounted copies of the Desiderata and Psalm 23. I suppose you might say these had a profound impression on how I learned to consider my role in the world, as well as my parents and brothers of course. I hope that you find something in it too.

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