World Smile Day | Calendar Table

World Smile Day

Wherever you go, there are troubles in the world. While the solutions to these problems aren’t easy, there are a few simple things we can do that can help make the world a better place. World smile day might be one of them.

Happiness plays a big role in addressing the difficult challenges of the world. There are more than 7 billion people living on our planet currently, and each one of them desires to be happy. Unfortunately, not many are given the opportunity.

Poverty is a large cause of unhappiness because it leads to a lack of nutrition, clean water, education, shelter, protection, and hope. Millions of children live trapped under these circumstances.





Sensing that a lack of happiness might be the source of a startling number of the world’s issues, the United Nations decided to do something to promote world happiness and kindness. The result was World Smile Day, which takes place the first Friday of every October.

What Is World Smile Day?

In 1999, the United Nations implemented the first ever World Smiles Day. World Smiles Day is named after the iconic yellow smiley face from the hippie movement of the 60s, which encouraged people to spread love through acts of kindness and generosity.

The day is set aside to spread goodwill across the planet and to set aside differences of geographic, cultural, or political boundaries. The theme of the day is, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!”

Throughout the globe, there are World Smiles Day ambassadors named to help organize local efforts for the day. These ambassadors usually organize efforts to do a community service project or to provide local groups with information about how they can organize their own efforts.

While there is no official reporting agency for the World Smile Day project, ambassadors and participants work on a system of good faith and use social media to spread pictures, video, and other updates on their efforts.

What’s in a Smile?

The origin of the smiley face that inspired the movement can be traced by to an artist named Harvey Ball. In 1963, Ball created a simple yellow smiley face to decorate several installations around the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. To his surprise, the smiley face became an instant commercial success and was soon recognizable through the United States and the world.

This was both good and bad for Harvey. While he was pleased with the success of his creation, he took to the streets making sure nobody forgot the meaning behind the artwork. He wanted people to remember that the face had no political, religious, or geographic limits and that human beings shouldn’t, either.

When the smiley was picked up commercially by some organizations that did seek to politicize it or use it for their own gain, Harvey was quick to step in and let the world know that he did not support their doing so. As a result, Harvey’s simple artistic masterpiece has maintained its meaning for over fifty years at a time when so many others have been used for someone else’s gain.

On World Smile Day, the spirit of Harvey and his smiley face live on.

5 Cute Ways to Celebrate World Smile Day

If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the day in your community, you aren’t alone. Every year, leading up to World Smile Day, individuals and groups begin the daunting task of figuring out how they can make a difference from where they are.

While there is no shortage of situations that need our attention, there is not a whole lot anyone can do in a limited amount of time. This is why World Smile Day is a good day to devote to the efforts that have been placed on a back burner and to beginning the first steps of larger efforts that you can work on throughout the year.

We have gathered some of our favorite suggestions for celebrating the day. We hope you are as inspired by them as we have been.

Pay It Backward

a woman paying for the person after her at a food counter

Image Source: Pixabay.com

One of the most popular ways that people spread kindness on World Smile Day is by paying it backward at the drive-thru. If you are picking up your morning coffee or running through for a fast food lunch, you might find that your order has already been paid for by the person ahead of you. Customarily, you should pay at least a portion of the next order behind you.

If you find that you are last in line and can’t pay it back, consider using your savings to pick up a box of donuts or other treats to share at the office or to drop off for public service staff, like your local firemen or police. They are always appreciative of community gratitude.

Do Some Grunt Work

a group of people cleaning up a stream

Image Source: Pixabay.com

You might also see groups of people working together to clean up city parks, pick up trash alongside the road, or do some simple flower planting or sprucing up within the community. Contact your local parks and recreational office before planning to make sure you won’t be violating any bylaws and ask them about any areas that they could use some extra help. They are more often than not extremely thankful for the gift of time and labor.

You will also be spreading smiles to the people who live in the community when they drive by and see their city clean and well cared for.

Sponsor a Child

a boy wearing uniform and walking on the side of road

Image Source: Pixabay.com

You might also see groups of people working together to clean up city parks, pick up trash alongside the road, or do some simple flower planting or sprucing up within the community. Contact your local parks and recreational office before planning to make sure you won’t be violating any bylaws and ask them about any areas that they could use some extra help. They are more often than not extremely thankful for the gift of time and labor.

You will also be spreading smiles to the people who live in the community when they drive by and see their city clean and well cared for.

Planted Gifts

a person wrapping a gift

Image Source: Pixabay.com

This is one of our favorites. Simply buy a few small, affordable gifts and wrap them attractively. Leave these gifts around town in public places where they will be seen. You can put something nice on the tag to let people know that if they find the gift, it belongs to them. For example, you might write, “To: Finder, From: Anonymous. Happy Word Smile Day. I hope this brings you joy!”

Good ideas for surprise gifts are gift cards to the movie theater, inexpensive jewelry like friendship bracelets or mood rings, and tiny toys. Avoid food or hygiene items as there is always concern about allergies or contaminants.

Hand Out Confidence

a thank you written on a sticky note

Image Source: Pixabay.com

One of the easiest ways to spread smiles is by spreading compliments. Too often, we are so caught up in our own situations that we don’t pay much attention to those around us. Take a moment (or several) today to compliment somebody you see. Whether you are telling a young mother in the supermarket that her baby is beautiful or letting a co-worker know that their hard work on last quarter’s big project has not gone unnoticed, you will give a boost that will last throughout the day and possibly even into the future.

Think about the compliments you would like to receive and understand that all people feel and think similarly. They want to be recognized for their efforts and to feel like they are a valued person. Take the time today to feed that need.

Please remember that you are never limited as to how little or how much you do to make the day great. Any effort put into bettering the world on World Smile Day is an effort toward global change toward happiness.

Conclusion

World Smile Day, inspired by the artist Harvey Ball and his smiley face artwork, is a day of reaching out and spreading kindness among humanity. This is a day when people are asked to set aside their differences and simply love each other for the people that we are. When people are happy, they are kinder and more apt to do the things necessary to improve the world for those around them. When we spread happiness, we are taking away room for hatred and animosity to grow and forging a culture of understanding, love, and kindness. That is what World Smile Day is all about. Whether you are working on a large community service project, doing something small for a friend or neighbor, or setting off to take part in a global betterment effort, we thank you for participating in this beautiful yearly event.

It is a great day to spread random acts of kindness, take part in a community building effort, or find another way of bettering the world we live in. In doing so, we not only honor Harvey and his smile but also ourselves.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com



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