Project ‘Smile’…!!!


Breakfast at McDonald’s…


“I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12 and 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was sociology.

“The teacher was absolutely inspiring with qualities I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project for the term was called ‘Smile’. The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

“I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally…

“Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

“We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch… an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside me as I turned to see why they had moved.

“As I turned around I smelled a horrible ‘dirty body’ smell and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was ‘smiling’. His beautiful sky-blue eyes were full of God’s light as he searched for acceptance. 

“He said, ‘Good day’ as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

“The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend, I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

“The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

“He said, ‘Coffee is all Miss’ because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. They just wanted to be warm.)

“Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

“I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand. 

“He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes and said ‘Thank you’.

“I leaned over and began to pat his hand and said, ‘I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.’

“I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, ‘That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.’

“We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. 


“We are not regular church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure light of God’s sweet love. 


“I returned to college, on the last evening of our class, with this story in hand. I turned in ‘my project’ and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, ‘Can I share this?’

“I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. 


“She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed.

“In my own way I had touched the people of McDonald’s, my son, my husband, the instructor and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

“I graduated with one of the biggest lesson’s I would ever learn:


Unconditional acceptance


Many of us may find it very difficult to accept others as they areunconditionally. Make the effort to begin to accept others fully as they are. The tragedy is that our own mind is not in our control. And what is the comedy? Our own mind which is not in our control, with that uncontrolled mind we want to control other people’s mind which is not even in their control an impossible task!!! This is the comedy! Liberation is when we intelligently accept people and circumstances as they come. Don’t try to change bitter gourd into sugarcane. It will end up in frustration. Enjoy each as they are. Don’t be judgmental about other people, events, circumstances and experiences.


We need to accept ourselves also unconditionally.  It is our inability to accept ourselves fully, with all our weaknesses and shortcomings that causes so much anguish in our lives.  Laugh at yourself, at your behavior and at your antics. We should not take ourselves too seriously. No one else does. What? – Take us seriously!


“Much love and compassion are sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to –


Love people and use things not love things and use people.


Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.


To handle ourselves, we should use our head. 

To handle others, we should use our heart.

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1 Comment

  1. Chintu

    Very touching incident narrated.The whole world celebrates the military commander who annihilates the enemy’s army; celebrates the GMAT,GRE,IIT topper; celebrates the winning of the Presidential election and so on.But very few realize the courage of a person who can lovingly smile at the unwashed poorest men in tattered clothes in front of ladies and gentlemen inside a famous restaurant, and hold his hand and serve food!

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