A Smile Says a Thousand Words

Lauren Giles
May 9, 2022
A Smile Says a Thousand Words


Do you ever see people throughout your day who are smiling for no apparent reason? They have this aura about them that just makes you want to say hi and smile back.

These days it seems with more heads being buried in our phones, more people piling too much on their plate, most of the population under too much stress, there isn’t as much smiling going on.

People are flat out ignoring others around them, or worse, being completely rude. Just the other day I was walking through the produce section of Publix and heard an elderly man say “yeah yeah, I see you, MOVE!” I looked over, thinking maybe he was joking around with whoever he was with, but nope – he was talking to a complete stranger who happened to get in his path. He proceeded to walk down the aisle mumbling to himself how many “stupid people” there are in this world, and they all seem to live in St. Augustine.

After the initial shock wore off, I started to feel bad for this elderly man. He was clearly either having a terrible day or perhaps he just isn’t a happy person. It wasn’t my place to judge. I didn’t know what may have happened to him that day that caused him to be in an agitated mood. Lord knows I have had my fair share of days of being stressed and not being the kindest version of myself, so I gave him some grace, a smile and kept walking to pay for my groceries.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi


Almost daily, I drive by a local coffee shop, and the same woman is standing out there each day with her coffee sign – dancing, smiling and waving to oncoming traffic to entice drivers to stop in for their morning cup of joe. If you drive on Anastasia Blvd in the mornings, you know exactly who I am talking about. Her smile is contagious. I can’t help but smile back and a wave.

I sat at the red light one day watching her dance, wave, smile and direct cars into the drive-thru. She looked to be having the time of her life. I watched her wave to people who didn’t wave back, who didn’t even look her way. But her attitude did not change. She just kept on waving. She had a resiliency and determination about her that you don’t see often. It is easy to feel defeated in situations where you are giving it your all and not seeing the results you envisioned. Not this woman! She had pride in what she was doing.


How are some people so happy in situations that others would feel dreadful in? Mindset and attitude.

Earlier this year I had the privilege of hearing Jon Gordon speak in Miami.

Side note: if you have not read his books, go grab one now!

He mentioned that we should wake up every morning and think about what we GET to do instead of what we HAVE to do. For example, next time you are thinking “ugh, I HAVE to go workout”, maybe say “I get to make my body healthier so I have more energy to play with the kids!” Next time you are thinking “UGH! I HAVE to go to work today!” think “I get to make a difference in someone’s day today.” It is pretty amazing how changing just one word can change your whole mindset.

Sometimes our day doesn’t go exactly as we had planned. Sometimes our kids throw us curve balls and try our patience. But every day we get a new chance to be the best version of ourselves. I truly believe that teaching the next generation about mindset begins with us. Because we all know – they are watching how we act and how we react every single day.

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