Smile . . . People Will Wonder What You’re Up To!

Feb 8th

Boy Scout Day  – Today is the birthday of Scouting in America. On February 8, 1910, William Dickson Boyce, a Chicago publisher, filed incorporation papers in the District of Columbia to create the Boy Scouts of America.  This is a day that Scout troops across the country celebrate every year.  They often serve cake at the weekly meeting, or on a camp out.  On Scott Sunday – the Sunday that falls nearest February 8th, they will often mark the occasion with a church service and a pancake breakfast.  Both the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts offer a tremendously valuable program of life skills and values for millions of boys.   Lord Baden-Powell founded Boy Scouts in the early 1900s in Great Britain, and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell, founded Girl Guides.  The top award of Eagle Scout, is an accomplishment that reaps recognition, rewards, and benefits for a young man throughout his life.

My son was never involved with the Boy Scouts, though our church denomination had a boys group that was similar called Royal Rangers.  They did many of the same types of activities, with the additional task of memorizing Bible verses and performing Biblical based tasks each week to earn their badges.  I feel like he learned many wonderful things in the few years he was in the Rangers.  It is my guess that the Scouts bring similar skills to the boys involved in their program as well.  Nothing quite so cute as watching 7 and 8 year olds learning archery, target shooting, reciting their verses, etc.  Did this mama’s heart proud – and he grew up to be a wonderful contributing member of society, first in the military, and now as a law enforcement officer.

Today would be a great day to go fly a kite, since it is Kite Flying Day! People have loved flying kites for thousands of years, and is a very popular activity for both children AND adults!  Some of the kites out there are extremely fancy, and quite complicated – and HUGE!  I saw this one guy at the ocean one time that was nearly getting lifted off of the sand by the kite he was flying!   Benjamin Franklin was perhaps the most well known kite flyer, remembered for flying a kite in a thunderstorm and discovering electricity.  We all know better than to do that now . . . right?  What I found to be a little amazing was that Kite Flying Day is in the middle of winter – makes not a whole lot of sense to me.  It’s likely that there are not very many people in the northern parts of the country who will be out in the cold flying a kite – especially on the east coast with Winter Storm Nemo projected to dump all that snow!  Interesting thing I read – did you know that kites were first used by the military in ancient China over 3,000 years ago?  I did not know that!   Today, like no other day, you can tell someone to Go Fly A Kite . . . and really mean it!

Laugh and Get Rich Day  – The power of laughter is incredible.  Recognizing this power can actually add to a businesses bottom line simply because people who laugh are more effective and tend to remember things better.  Something for those with a sour outlook to keep in mind.  The fact of many of our lives is that a lot of us are overworked, underpaid and downright stressed out about it.  If you are fortunate enough in this economy to have a job, many are just living from paycheck to paycheck, and paying the bills is a constant worry and an ongoing juggling act.  Can you imagine what it would be like to never have to worry about having enough to cover the bills, or to have enough leftover AFTER the bills to have a little fun without having to let something go?  I lived that way for many years, and though I am by no means well off, I am able to breathe a little between paydays, and I fully sympathize the stress that it causes.  The old saying that money can’t buy happiness is true, but doggone it, it sure makes life easier and it’s always been my thoughts that it was someone with money who had to have said that in the first place.  Today, in honor of Laugh and Get rich Day may I suggest buying a lottery ticket – just for the fun of it?  Or apply for that job you always wanted but just haven’t taken that step, or how about that really fantastic thing you invented but haven’t applied for a patent?  Today may be the day to just do that and who knows? Maybe you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank very soon!

I know all of us have at one point or another dreamed about winning the lottery – and we’ve thought about what we’d do with the money if we won . . . so what would you do?  I have always wanted, after I paid off the few bills I have, and take care of the basic home stuff, to start a foundation that would help foster families fund some of the extras that are outside the realm of reality when it comes to finances for fostering children.  These kids deserve the things that other kids take for granted – new backpacks and clothes for school, dresses or suits for prom, senior pictures, band trips, etc.  Activities that other children just know they are going to get, many of the foster children can’t even wish for because the money just isn’t available to them.  I’d like to help fill in the blanks for those children, to see the joy on the foster parents faces rather than the stress.  I used to work for an office that allowed me to “adopt” a foster family each Christmas.  The patients all donated money and gifts for the family, and I was blessed each year with a family I could meet in person.  One set of parents in particular stand out in my mind – they were a stay at home mother (she actually quit a very good job to be home with the children) and a police officer, who had two biological children, had fostered and adopted two special needs children, then fostered and were in the process of adopting four siblings who had varying degrees of learning disabilities brought on by fetal alcohol syndrome.  They couldn’t stand the thought of these four children being split up, so they took them in.  Their household doubled overnight, and left them with far too little money, not enough space, but a house full of love, laughter and joy.  Our office had an absolute blast giving each of those children bicycles or skateboards, coats, clothes, toys, boxes and boxes of food for the family, restaurant and bowling certificates for family nights out, and a special date weekend for Mom and Dad if Grandma and Grandpa would babysit.  We filled eight stuffed stockings with the kids names on them, and were able to watch Mom and Dad, tears streaming down their faces as they loaded up their vehicles with these gifts. The eight hand created thank you cards we received from these kids were so cherished by every single patient at our clinic, and by all of the practitioners, that I feel our reward was far greater than this family’s was, by far.  So, if I were to win the lottery, THIS is what I would do while laughing all the way to the bank – I’d be planning how to set up this foundation and make special times for those families who sacrifice so much for others, to make the life a little less fiscally painful and a lot more fun.

Smile Day – I guess this sort of goes along with laughing and getting rich, right?  Actually I don’t know if it was intended to go together or not, but today is smile day and we all know how infectious a smile is, right?  You can smile without really meaning it, but honestly, if you smile enough . . . you’ll eventually really mean it anyway, whether you want to or not.

Following are a few fun smile quotes I found tonight. I had no idea there were so many quotes about smiling!  Shows you how important the topic and the action is. . .

The shortest distance between two people is a smile.
*  Author Unknown
If you don’t start out the day with a smile, it’s not too late to start practicing for tomorrow.
*  Author Unknown
I have a tickle in my brain. And it keeps making the corners of my mouth point toward the heavens.
*  Jeb Dickerson
No matter how grouchy you’re feeling,
You’ll find the smile more or less healing.
It grows in a wreath
All around the front teeth –
Thus preserving the face from congealing.
*  Anthony Euwer
A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
*  Author Unknown
It takes a lot of work from the face to let out a smile, but just think what good smiling can bring to the most important muscle of the body… the heart.
*  Author Unknown
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
* Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
A smile confuses an approaching frown.
*  Author Unknown
Keep smiling – it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to.
*  Author Unknown
If you would like to spoil the day for a grouch, give him a smile.
* Author Unknown
Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.
*  George Eliot
A laugh is a smile that bursts.
*  Mary H. Waldrip

Whether you spend your day laughing, or smiling, letting some little boy help you across the street, or flying a kite – each of these will just make you feel happy no matter what else is going on with your day.  So share a smile and let it burst into a laugh, and it will spread to the next person and so on – paying forward happiness is always a good thing.  Thanking the Good Lord for creating smiles and laughter today.  God bless you – I’ll see you tomorrow.

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