In February, I was asked to appear in a commercial spot as a marketing promo for the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper on CW18/My24 Milwaukee. Upon arriving at the studio, I received a text from a friend reminding me to be sure to “smile” during the taping. I received advice from several friends as the commercial taping day neared, but this friend’s advice to “smile” stuck with me and I decided to use it as the inspiration for this month’s articles in celebration of World Smile Day observed the first Friday in October.
When did World Smile Day begin and what inspired it? In 1963, Harvey Ball of Worchester, Massachusetts created the familiar yellow smiley face. A commercial artist, Harvey Ball, created the smiley face design for a State Mutual Life Insurance Company campaign. The goal of his smiley face was to spread goodwill and cheer throughout the world. Through the years, Ball became concerned that his image was becoming too commercialized. In doing so, the original intent of the smiley face was getting lost. However, the design was never copyrighted. To bring back the original meaning of his smiley face, Ball declared the first Friday of October annually would be dedicated to smiles. He called it World Smile Day. The first World Smile Day was held on October 1, 1999. Ball, in creating World Smile Day, wanted everyone to devote one day each year to smile and perform kind acts throughout the world.
Smiling is contagious! Meriam Webster defines “smile” as to appear pleasant or agreeable; a facial expression in which the eyes brighten and the corners of the mouth curve slightly upward expressing especially amusement, pleasure, approval. Just like smiling, kindness and goodwill are contagious and spot on with the idiom, ‘two sides of the same coin.’ Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University for Scientific American, (July 2016) said: “the positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to ‘pay it forward.’ This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people.”
Beloved, even in the midst of a pandemic, we can find reasons to smile. This month you will be encouraged and challenged to “smile” not only on World Smile Day, but officially adopt “smiling” and showing goodwill and kindness to others always! This month, I will be offering suggestions for showing kindness and goodwill in conjunction with World Smile Day. It will be my sincere prayer that as you consider a few of the suggestions provided in this series to perform acts of kindness and show goodwill as a group or individually, that you will be sure to Put On A Smiley Face ☺ as doing kind acts and spreading goodwill will always give you reasons to smile!
Source: “Smiley Face with Smiling Eyes” by Apple.com
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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2020
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