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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