“Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia, author

Not long ago my wife and I were treasure hunting in one of our favorite thrift stores. A few minutes into the adventure I discovered a tiny chalkboard. It only measured 5 by 7 inches but it carried a big message for all of us. Someone, with excellent cursive skills, had written on it, “The difference is you.”

I’m not sure how long we stayed in the store that day. And I can’t tell you what bargains we came home with except for that tiny chalkboard. It now sits on my desk where I see it everyday. If the kind soul who took the time to write on it happens to be reading this, I want to thank you and let you know your message is still there.

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I heard about a man who was on vacation in the Bahamas. He sent a postcard to his psychiatrist, “Having a great time. Wish you were here to tell me why.”

Taking to heart the message on that tiny chalkboard, we can all make it our mission to be someone’s “Why” today.

And that brings us to this week’s quiz. What is something you can keep and give away at the same time?

The answer is a smile. And what a bargain. It’s absolutely free. As an added bonus someone pointed out, “Everywhere you go you can take one with you.”

Who is going to argue with Mother Teresa who offered her opinion on the subject, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for a smile is the beginning of love.”

And I can guarantee you will wear out several pairs of shoes long before you wear out the words “please” and “thank you.”

One of the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard is, The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder. The writer, Michael Johnson, said his inspiration for the tune came from seeing older folks still holding hands and helping each other with the door.  

You may have noticed you have two ears and one mouth. Someone pointed out to me many years ago that means we’re suppose to listen more than we speak. I’m not talking about gossip but an honest empathy for someones troubles.

Before I end this essay let me tell you how special you look today. There, I bet you felt as good hearing that as I did saying it.

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When my daughter asked my grandson, “What makes you happy?”

Without a moments hesitation he said, “Love.”

And then she asked, “What was the best part of your day?”

His answer was, “Dancing.”

And there you have it folks, a prescription for a happy life – love and dancing.

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Be the difference today.