“My great-grandpa always used to tell my grandma and then my mom, and my mom always told me. It’s just a stupid little saying.
‘You should always smile at everyone because it might be the only one they get all day.’
I always liked it.”
The informant said the proverb stuck with her because so many people don’t give eye contact nowadays. She said that her great-grandfather was always so happy all of the time. He was from a small town in California, and he would smile at everyone and be happy all the time. “How could someone be that happy all the time?”
The informant passes the proverb around to others often. On one occasion, she was at a movie theater and she was very kind and friendly to the person taking tickets. Her friend asked her why she was always so happy, and she told him the saying. The informant believes that, “Every one is so cynical nowadays. Not everything needs to be ironic.”
The proverb really connects with her and makes her a more optimistic and happy person. I like the idea that the proverb gets across of spreading joy around so that others can share in your happiness even for just a second.
Annotation: A variation was found on a quotes website. The quote was originally taken from the film P.S. I Love You:
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
Brown, H. “Quotations About Smiles.” Welcome to the Quote Garden. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.quotegarden.com/smiles.html>.