i've been working at the store over christmas break to earn some more money.  (money, money, money -- ick.)  i was really tired and had been there all day long, standing.  my feet hurt, my back hurt, my shoulders hurt, i was hungry, and really wanted to go home.

the next customer in line was a man who never, EVER smiles.  he was a regular.  i'd seen him many, many times before.  and not once, in all the times i've asked, "how are you today?" or "did you find everything alright?" or "your total is ___." or "have a nice day!" i have never once seen the man smile.

i thought:  great.  a grumpy guy to make my day even worse.

but of course, i pasted on a smile.  "how are you today, sir?"  i asked.  i got a grunt and a "fine." the usual response from this man.  i then asked, "did you have a merry christmas?"  expecting him to grunt and nod, or perhaps say, "yep."

this man raised his head and looked me in the eyes.  and then -- he smiled.

"i did have a merry christmas!  how bout you?"

i was shocked.  i had never seen this man smile before! ever!  i was suddenly filled with love and compassion for him.  i had no idea what went on in his life.  maybe he was lonely.  maybe he had health problems, or financial problems.  there were a million reasons why he never smiled.  but this christmas had caused him to smile.  what a miracle.

i smiled back, and the rest of our short conversation was as happy and cheerful as any.  he walked away, and i felt renewed.  it absolutely made my day.  and i was amazed that a smile from this usually grumpy stranger had affected me so much.

smile!  you never know whose day will be made.

"a smile is a crooked line that sets things straight."  :)

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