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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: The Cost of A Smile
By angela mcclinton


When I think of ‘purposefulness’ or ‘purpose in life’ I visualise a ‘BIG’ picture of what these two words might mean. It could be something awesome like becoming a worldwide evangelist, reaching millions of souls for God’s Kingdom or a rise to recognition for raising huge funds on a regular basis for all sick and starving children of the world and setting up workable programmes that would eliminate these atrocities. These are all areas where ‘purpose’ might be found.

However, I think ‘purpose in life’ can be viewed just a little too idealistically or in too big a way. Whether our life’s purpose is to reach millions of souls or ‘feed the world’ or just to be available for our family and friends, and being effective in our local community for instance, are all worthy in their own right, also.

Take for example, our smile! This can set the record for finding our purpose! Sounds a little strange maybe, but there are some folk who do just that……………smile at everyone they meet, and if one is on the receiving end of that little but hugely important gesture, it can feel really good.

Let me tell you what a smile can do. I think we will all be able to concur that a smile can set us up for our purpose in life after reading the following examples.

I have to confess I do not always smile! I can get as grouchy as anyone else, and if someone jumps the supermarket queue I am standing in for instance, or omits to say ’thank you’ when I kindly hold the shop door open for them as they struggle out with shopping bags, I am more prone to ‘snarl’ than ‘smile.’
As I pondered on this subject, I realized that I must do more snarling during the course of my day, than using my ‘smiley’ muscles!
So, the question arose, ‘What does snarling cost me? Is it truly purposeful?’
Well it costs me nothing, but it can pay me back with frustration, a bad mood, ‘snarly facial lines’ (if I do it often enough!) and a generally grouchy day.
And then I asked myself, ‘What would a smile cost me? What purpose will it achieve?’
To cost? Absolutely nothing, and the return is positively greater and worth every smile I make!
People are more likely to respond in a friendly way if I smile at them. Some folk will even find this act an opportunity to strike up a conversation and find a word of encouragement not just for the recipient but the instigator too.
A smile can cheer that elderly lady or gentleman who may have little contact from anyone, because they live alone. A smile and a ‘coo’ towards a new-born baby can attract a positive response not only from ‘baby’ but ‘mum’ also!
And what does a smile do for me?
It lifts my spirit, my mood is sweeter, and I feel more caring towards those around me……..and it makes me feel good.
Of course, there are days when a smile just isn’t forthcoming. We are carrying the world on our shoulders and no matter how hard we try, our ‘smiley’ muscles just won’t work!
On that day, maybe someone else’s smile will do for you what your smile has done for someone else already!

So, next time you are beginning to feel ‘grouchy’, try a ‘smiley’ and see what happens.

Don’t get into the mode of thinking that unless you are doing something ‘big’ to make your life purposeful, that there is no purpose for you. We are all unique. We all have our ‘purpose in life’ mapped out already, by the One who made us.
There is room for a budding worldwide evangelist. There will always be someone whose purpose is to work where atrocities like starvation occur, to help lessen the depravation it causes. But, there is also room for you, right where you are!

You may be one of these people whose cheerful spirit can bring a smile daily to anyone you meet. That cheerful disposition is a gift that God has placed in you and this could just be the very ‘purpose’ your life is all about!

Some folk will relate to a smile very quickly! It’s effect can be very rewarding indeed.
Do you really feel this is all you can offer? Then…Good!
Keep smiling … on purpose, for a good purpose, and through it ‘find your purpose!’

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This article has been read 763 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sherry Wendling06/02/06
I really like this! It's plain to see you're an exhorter/encourager, and you did a wonderful job bringing the point home about "bloom where you're planted.

Keep smiling as you write. There's real promise here!
Sheila Arnott06/03/06
Your article made ME smile! It's so true that just a smile can make a huge difference. I find your writing to make for easy reading and very insightful. Keep at it!
Joanne Malley06/05/06
You have a creative mind with an unlimited amount of insight. You truly write from the heart. :) Please only take my suggestion as a form of help - not a criticism. Try to write your next challenge by steering clear of phrases such as "When I think of purposefulness or "Purposefulness is.." Just jump into a creative story and let all your great ideas unravel. Your message of the topic can even be less obvious as your choice of characters, dialog and storyline are revealed a bit at a time. Keep writing! You are moving right along with all others who are beginning writers. It's all about learning, doing, growing. :) Keep it up.
Joanne Malley06/05/06
Oh, and you're so right about purpose. Many times it comes in the form of simple things as in an infectious smile! Terrifice insight. Sometimes we are too busy looking for the bigger stuff, we miss the small, very important things. Blessings. :)