Graduation time has come, and the announcements and pictures of the events are being sent out and posted. It is wonderful to see the smiling faces of the graduates "ready for the world," especially when they also include pictures of when they were young. The smile is the same. The happiness shines through and I hope they keep smiling.

I so enjoy the smile on my son’s face. It always brings me joy, from his first smile to every time I see him. He smiles from his eyes down to his mouth, so many times I have said to him, "Keep smiling and you will get through anything." His smile makes people feel comfortable, so he can talk to anyone and he always walks away knowing all about them. For him, that smile has led to another friend. So, he keeps smiling.

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I have traveled a bit in life, and there is a universal thing about a smile. It has a way of changing the mood of a room. My time in Iraq was several years ago, but the one thing I remember is the smiles. The fathers and mothers and their children with wonderful smiles sent a powerful message despite the chaos. They keep smiling.

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Today the divisions in our country are strong and deep. When passing people on the street it seems more and more that heads are down, eyes diverted. We are distant and seem sad or afraid to engage in even simple greetings anymore.

Recently, I have traveled to some larger cities in the country. As I was walking through the parks, if could catch someone’s eye – not an easy task - and greet them with a smile, most were quite pleasantly surprised to find me smiling at them. It brightened their day and I prayed they would keep smiling. Yes, it’s a small thing, but very powerful. We need to keep smiling.

Trying to keep smiling in the hard times, though the bad times, through those tough days can be really hard. But it seems to make life a little smoother, better, easier. In times of deepest sorrow, a big hug helps and the smile that followed kept the hug going. In the busyness of the day make sure you give a smile to those around you, starting with those in your own home. See what happens if we keep smiling.

Share a smile today. Maybe, just maybe, that spark of joy will change someone’s life. Bring joy to help take away the problems of this world, even for just awhile. Loneliness may leave so hope can come in, sadness may flee so the light can shine. The smile you give could open the door for healing to begin. We don’t know the heart or issues of those we pass by, but we can try to make it better in this very simple way, keep smiling.