I have had the pleasure and honor knowing Patrick Asare for many years. It was only after reading his marvelous, and miraculous, memoir, “The Boy from Boadua: One African’s Journey of Hunger and Sacrifice in Pursuit of a Dream”that our relationship changed.

It changed merely because as I learned more about this incredible man—both from reading his memoir and reading these insightful blogs—our relationship deepened. Even if one doesn’t have the pleasure of knowing Patrick, as I do, one can’t help feel closer to this intelligent and thoughtful—and positive—human being.

We are, after all, ALL human beings.

We are all in “this” together. This planet. (It behooves all of us to make the best of it).

But, as Patrick touches upon one serious, thought-provoking blog, after blog, after blog, it’s becomes quite clear that the entire world has some serious problems (and this, brief “guest blog”—which some might deem frivolous or silly, which Patrick has generously allowed me to write, will not be addressing any of those issues).

Instead—and you will kindly forgive my long-winded preface—I would like to focus on the gift and power of a smile.

When is the last time you smiled at someone? Even to, especially to, a stranger. My guess is it probably not only provided the recipient with a positive benefit but probably you too. How much does that smile cost?  ZERO. (I can’t speak to the physiological belief or myth that it takes more muscles to frown than smile; but I like the gist of that message, whether it’s true or not).

You are, no doubt, aware of the expression, “the best things in life are free”? A smile is one. [Stopping] To smell the flowers is another. We all do need to stop (many things, but that can be a topic for another day) and start smelling the flowers and smile; more.

Will a smile “solve” anything once it is given, or received? Of course not. But the power of giving or getting a smile cannot be underestimated.

When given the chance I often buy a stranger a cup of coffee, or even maybe a lunch (a reminder that there are many people who are in need of a cup of coffee or a meal) and I feel pretty good about that. Especially when it’s unexpected, as it always is, from the recipient. Why not? I can afford it. Not everyone can, and I get that. (It doesn’t take much, literally and figuratively).

But everyone can [afford] a smile. And that smile—whether given or received—goes a long way. Try it. Today. You might like it and you will very likely have made someone’s day. Including yours!

I now return you to your usual, brilliant, writer and blogger Patrick Asare. No doubt his next blog is already in progress. Thank you my dear friend.

The author of this blog, Jay Levine, is a very dear friend of mine who lives in the great state of Maine with his lovely wife, Elizabeth Ernst. Thank you, Jay, for taking the time to write this beautiful piece. And thank you for your very kind words about me—not all of which I deserve by the way.