In one of the those moments lost to the great Facebook click-through phenomenon I discovered a blog entry on what Russians tell other Russians about the USA when traveling here. (It's on a page called Mental Floss, if you haven't checked it out you're missing something!) These were the final words of wisdom listed:
"However, it would be wrong to believe that the Americans with their smiles only create the illusion of well-being and that their smiles are stretched with false joy. This is not so. Americans: they are a nation that truly feels happy. These people get used to smiling from the cradle onwards, so they do not pretend to be cheerful. The desire for a successful happy life is inculcated from childhood.”
Today I am grateful that I discovered a view of my country that I would have never thought foreigners would have. We are perceived as a happy people. Not all the time and not with everyone. Yet, I am grateful to live where people smile ... often ... because they are genuinely happy.
What are you grateful for today? Did something make you smile?
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia