Turn That Frown Into a Smile

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Did you know it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 muscles to smile? No wonder being down takes up so much energy out of us! Those 17 muscles used to smile can have a bigger impact than you think. Helping someone in this world can be as effortless as smiling at them. Positive attitudes branch from having an authentic smile behind the message we send to others.

That doesn’t mean frowning doesn’t take place every once in awhile considering we are human, and do have those down days. You know, the day where one wrong thing after another crashes down and you almost can see that stormy cloud hovering over? Everyone is allowed one free pass, every so often to let that cloud pour, but who’s to say you can’t change that bad day around? I’ll admit it’s easier said than done, but it CAN be done. We are often unaware of how much our bad day may impact those around us. When we frown, we can become susceptible to taking out our bad attitudes on the closest person to us.

I had a professor this last fall semester that made an observation about most people he sees every day. He said, “There are so many people from different ages, who all walk around with their heads down, or a glazed look on their face.” What this professor challenged us to do was to smile at someone, whether we knew them or not, and take note of what our positive attitude did to others. I tried this today and had a few reactions. One person simply glared at me and must have thought I was a nut haha. I gave this smiling act another shot, and the recipient smiled back. Who knows I could have made their morning and cheered them up a bit. It’s amazing the power one smile can hold and it costs nothing!

On my journey of finding new knowledge on philanthropy and non-profits, it has occurred to me that being a humanitarian or providing philanthropy to others can be done through our attitude. I’m not saying a smile can change the world, that’s not my point. Instead I am demonstrating we are all negative at some point and seeing the sunshine to a cloudy day can change you, and change those around you. I challenge you to try being more positive. Spread a genuine smile to others and see the impact you can have. Who knows, maybe you will change their day into a happier one, and be successful with a mircophilanthropic moment.

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Enabling the microphilanthropist within us

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Most of us are aware of what philanthropy is, but the new humanitarian movement occurring is called microphilanthropy. To be a microphilanthropist, an individual wants to donate to a cause, but they may not necessarily have the funds to do so (if only money grew on trees). Microphilanthropists find simple ways to donate their time or small amounts of money to benefit others.

I myself had a microphilanthropist moment today. While I was at work, I had a customer come in who was returning to college after serving in Afghanistan. He told me how he had returned this last semester, and was shocked with how the system had changed. Small talk occurred and I realized most returning Veterans come back to the life occurring now, and have to adjust to the changes that have happened in a fast manner in order to survive.

My microphilanthropist moment took place when I gave my advice to this man on how to save money on school books, by using websites to rent them versus the monopolistic competitive outlook many university bookstores create. Websites such as chegg.com allow users to rent textbooks, and plant a tree for every rent made. This site is a good cause with the power to save students money as well. I also gave this man advice regarding how to find the teachers who truly care about your education, and weed out the ones who get pleasure out of seeing you fail. I told him to visit ratemyprofessor.com which has given me many benefits when choosing classes as a college student.

The point of my story is I made a positive out of a negative with this man’s re-entrance into college. My simple act of kind advice today, created positive marketing for some companies, and I would predict alleviated some stress from this man. As a microphilanthropist I want to do good for others in any way I can. Whether it is giving my advice on being knowledgeable on how to survive college, or donating a few dollars, any small gesture can make a bigger impact. Today I learned that I can easily practice microphilanthropy on a daily basis. If I try my best to do a small humanitarian act for an individual every day not only does this benefit others, but it gives me good karma 🙂

“Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Photo Credit: Bailey Rose

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