World Smile Day: A Day Devoted To Spreading Cheerfulness Around The World


World Smile Day and SMILEY Face, Oh yes, they do have something in common! Harvey Ball the creator of the Smiley face symbol in 1963 (which has become an icon for cheerfulness worldwide), was also the person behind the inauguration of the World Smile Day.

This day is commemorated on the first Friday of October every year.

This trend of hosting the World Smile Day started in 1999 at Smiley’s hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts and later on caught up around the world.

Harvey Ball World Smile Day Foundation

Since Harvey’s death in 2001, a foundation called the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created in his honor and memory. This foundation has been at the forefront of sponsoring the World Smile Day officially each year. This year the World Smile Day would be held on October 4th between 11am and 1pm worldwide.

The Genesis

Ever since the creation of the SMILEY face, Harvey discovered to his chagrin that the SMILEY face has been over-commercialized in the market place, over the years. Also through constant repetition its original meaning and intent had become obscured. Harvey’s passionate belief that all of us can brighten up this world through individual acts of kindness, culminated in the observance of the World Smile Day.

Brings to mind the wise words of Mother Teresa “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

The Message

The slogan of the World Smile Day is “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile”. The idea behind the creation of the SMILEY face was that-“Smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion”, and Harvey’s philosophy was that at least one day every year, we also should espouse this refreshing philosophy. Without any concern for politics, religion or geography we must strive through our acts of kindness to bring a smile to the face of at least one person.

5 Significant Activities on World Smile Day

Free SmileyEmail a smile certificate: One may choose to email a smile certificate to anyone anywhere around the world. Check the www.worldsmileday.com website between Noontime EST on October 3rd and 9am EST on October 5th this year to use this feature. This feature would be enabled on the website only during this period.

Gift a Smiley Merchandise from the smiley store: One may choose to buy a gift item from the Smiley store online at the official website, and gift it to some person around the world.

Pin Smile Buttons on Patients: This is one exercise which requires a bit of physical effort, unlike the aforementioned couple. One can order SMILEY buttons from the SMILEY store on the World Smile Day website, and go to a nearby hospital and pin these buttons to the hospital gowns of patients in the ICU or any ward where critically ill patients are housed.

Pin a SMILEY sticker onto the lapel of a policeman: This is another activity which requires physical movement. Police persons are serious folks, so by pinning a SMILEY sticker or button on the lapel of a police person’s dress, it would enable him or her to carry on his or her duty (of nailing the proverbial thug) with a soft song on their lips. One may just end up- MAKING THEIR DAY!

SMS SMILEY Face: One may also choose to sms the smiley face to all the contacts on one’s mobile. A few contacts could be really caught off guard, like one’s boss or one’s cute neighbor.

Conclusion

The World Smile Day is an occasion to spread cheerfulness and positive feelings among the citizens of the communities in which one resides. Every act done with pure and unsullied motives would help in spreading cheer. The philosophy behind the observance day is not bad at all. One can think of really innovative ways to act out the philosophy, thereby doing a world of good, to the world in which one lives!

Feature Image: By zitona qatar from doha, qatar [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About Clint McForge

Blogger and certified Internet user who loves to share any information I gathered elsewhere.

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