Smile Bigger

Scott Graham Photography

Scott Graham Photography

Smile Bigger, Hug Longer, Love Stronger

The other day, I was passing a cute older couple crossing the street, so I smiled. The older woman smiled back like only older people can–with wrinkles of joy. I was so delighted that I tried to smile bigger. By the time we passed each other, my face was sore from trying to make the edges of my lips touch my ears.

This experience made me think about the phrase, “Give an inch, take a mile.” What if when someone gave us an inch, we GAVE a mile? If someone smiles at you, you give a huge smile. Maybe we could just forget about the inch and just give a mile out of the goodness of our hearts.

I decided to push the limits of my love and happiness. I smiled as big as I could to anyone who looked my way, regardless of the demeanor on their faces. I hugged my sons until they struggled to get loose, then I made a game of it–“Daddy is the hugging monster.” I told my wife I loved her every time I talked to her.

That was one of the best days of my life. Funny thing was that my wife and oldest son woke up the next morning in a great mood–they are not normally morning people.

adaptation-movie-nicolas-cageThis love without expectations reminds me of a line from the film Adaptation. Charlie Kaufman was recounting an event in high school when his brother, Donald, was talking to a girl he loved. When Charlie tells Donald that she was just making fun of him, Donald reveals that he knew that she did not care about him.

How come you looked so happy?
I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn’t have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.
But she thought you were pathetic.
That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That’s what I decided a long time ago.

I am deciding right here and now to smile bigger, hug longer, and love stronger regardless of how pathetic I may look. I can’t imagine a better way to live life.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

What thoughts or actions have lead to amazing days for you? Please share.


35 comments on “Smile Bigger

  1. Your post reminds me of the quote:

    “The secret to happiness is smiling with the heart and eyes, not merely with the lips.”

    I once read it somewhere and then scribbled it at the start of day-planner.

    • Kozo says:

      Exactly, Looking and Learning. My goal is to make my heart as big as possible by smiling bigger and loving deeper. I can’t imagine a more important thing to put in our day-planners. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Every once in awhile, when I am out in the world on my own, I have the opportunity to do something nice for a stranger, to be a “good samaritan”, and then…I tell….no one…

    • Kozo says:

      Even if you don’t tell anyone, doesn’t it make you feel better, Johnny? I believe that our lives can only be improved by the lovingkindness we give/share. Thanks for the comment.

      • My point exactly. Not “even if” I don’t tell anyone but “because” I don’t tell anyone, to have that act be a gift simply for me and the other…can’t get ego completely out of the act…

  3. […] try to be a little more like this loving blogger, and choose to make the precious bountiful, and the foreign […]

  4. diannegray says:

    I’m always smiling at people – they always smile back because smiles are contagious! 😀

    • Kozo says:

      It’s not the smiles that are contagious, Dianne, it is YOU.
      Where I live there are a lot of people who are anti-smiling. Don’t ask me why. This is why I am trying to give smiles with no expectation of returns. Like Johnnycrabcakes says above, I want to take my ego out of the equation and just give. This is my daily practice lately, and it has been wonderful.

  5. eof737 says:

    What a wonderful idea… Reading your post put a big smile on my face and then made me laugh as I imagined the biggest smile I could make… TY for this one! 😉

  6. eof737 says:

    By the way, I love your free hugs button. 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    *big smile, hurting my face* Great post, Kozo!!

  8. NIKOtheOrb says:

    Smiling really has an effect on others, especially when they are unexpected. I noticed that most people walk with their head down, looking at putting one foot after the other. When you walk past one of these people, look at them until they look up, then meet their gaze and smile your best smile. People sometimes seemed just a tad startled before a big smile spreads across their face. A silent and shared moment of happiness. No ego, all smile. 🙂

  9. This is the prefect recipe to live better 🙂

    I LOVE this woman’s face and the story written on it 🙂

  10. Tracy says:

    “I am deciding right here and now to smile bigger, hug longer, and love stronger regardless of how pathetic I may look” …. You’ll look like a man who knows how to enjoy life, is grateful for everyday and present in the moment. Nothing pathetic about that 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      Great point, Tracy. Funny how our fears of how others perceive us can prevent us from living happy, rewarding, thankful lives. For example, sometimes I think that people may tire of all the hug symbols that I use or think it is a gimmick. On that note, {{{Hugs}}}

      • Tracy says:

        Oh no, please carry on with the hugs. I watch the news each day and see plenty of room for more love in this world. I can’t imagine where our species would be without hugs….

  11. 1EarthUnited says:

    Glorious be God, the most beautiful face I’ve seen through your eyes. Smiles are contagious!

    • Kozo says:

      I’m sure we all could use a smile, a hug, and some love, after the news this morning in Connecticut. Thank you for the comment and follow. I look forward to future conversations.

  12. Ah, this made me smile too! 🙂

  13. Professions for PEACE says:

    I love this post! Imagine indeed ~ to offer a mile when someone gives us an inch. Your wonderful writings continue to inspire and uplift. Thank you so much 🙂 Hugs, Gina xo

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Gina. This post becomes even more important after the events in Connecticut. We as a society need to give more to all we come in contact with. {{{Hugs}}}

  14. […] Kozo – a fellow blogger and much more than just an “everyday guru” … he is a “hugging angel” himself. With a big heart and lots of hugs to […]

  15. sofiasiberia says:

    Oh totally, totally! 🙂 Again you shared my own thoughts :))
    I’ve been living the philosophy of ‘smile wider and love stronger’ for years now and the feedback is amazing. I always smile, outside, in town, anywhere, simply smile to people and they look so happy and always smile back.
    By that you are creating around yourself the filed of positivity which affects others and makes their own energies happier! It’s like a viral network of happiness, it is so easy to spread it! It is contagious ❤
    When you love people, Universe loves you back!

    • Kozo says:

      So true, Sofia. I used to get upset when people didn’t say hi back or smile back, but now I just shower them with a continuous smile.
      So happy that you are smiling back, though. haha.

  16. I agree wholeheartedly! smile bigger, hug longer, and love stronger!!!!!

  17. […] Everyday Gurus:  because he has a great blog AND I’d like to know more about him AND he’s incredibly […]

  18. jrosenberry1 says:

    Hello — I hope you don’t mind, but I “tagged” you .. hopefully this will bring some new readers your way. All the best to you 😀

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