The Smile Virus

I went to a funeral today for an elderly family friend. Funerals often provide an occasion for reflection, and this one was especially rich for me. I looked at the pictures that provided a window into her past. She grew up on the Northern Great Plains, a farming background, became a kindergarten teacher, married, had a family (most of whom I talked to at the reception) . I noticed one striking thing that remained a constant from the first photos, to the pictures from last year.(br/.
Her smile.

There were many photos of her, but her smiles transcended media and time.

How contagious her energy is! Even looking at her picture, I felt compelled to smile back. As I sat through the service, I heard her smile mentioned repeatedly; I was not the only person who was infected with her smile virus. How simple. Imagine a world full of people who smiled at each other MORE.

I had a short reverie about a world that smiled more, and I liked the vision. Before I left the funeral, I vowed to smile more – more often, with more energy and depth and at more people. I am challenging each and every one of you to do the same.