Before we suggest how you can celebrate World Smile Day, let’s learn a little about the origins of this day. Since 1999, World Smile Day has been recognized as a day to encourage people to smile more often. But long before there was another effort to put smiles on the faces of people everywhere.
Thirty+ Years Earlier
Predating the commemoration of a day to smile, was the creation of the symbol that marks the day — the smiley face.
In 1963, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist employed by State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts (now Hanover Insurance) was commissioned to create a symbol that would raise company morale. He created the smiley face in ten minutes and was paid only $45.00 for his design. The familiar yellow circle, with smaller black dots for eyes and a crescent-shaped mouth, became the symbol of cheerfulness, joy, and goodwill for the Massachusetts insurance company. But it didn’t stop there.
The use of the smiley face increased in popularity, becoming a universal symbol understood by all. With the introduction of computers, the symbol went “electronic” with a plain text, smiley-face emoticon. Easily created by typing a colon and a right parenthesis, and sometimes with a dash for a nose, 🙂 or 🙂 , the symbol became a popular way to express emotion in online copy and emails.
A perennial favorite, the smiley face returned to its original form in 1995. With the introduction of emojis (small digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication) the yellow smiley face could now be shared worldwide. Today, the round yellow emoji face does more than just smile:
Surprisingly, the simple smiley is not the most popular emoji — at least not on Facebook. In July 2018, Facebook ranked emoji use and gave the following rankings¹
The Birth of a Day to Smile
Held annually since 1999, World Smile Day® is celebrated on the first Friday of the month of October. The day is sponsored by the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation, a foundation created after Ball’s death in 2001 to honor his name and his memory — and to encourage more smiley faces in our world. The foundation’s goal is, “to make as many people as possible aware of World Smile Day® by using the web, social media, and your help to encourage smiles and acts of kindness around the world.”
So What’s in a Smile?
A lot! As Christians, we understand that a smile can reveal the emotions of one’s soul and the thoughts in one’s mind. What we experience on the inside becomes evident on the outside. When things are going well, troubles are few, and we’re at peace, we smile. Conversely the same is true. When life is difficult, trials are challenging, pain is oppressive, circumstances are discouraging, more often than not our faces tell the story. However, we should always remember that we always have a choice.
In Psalm 42, the psalmist lamented, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?”
We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt discouraged or overwhelmed. We’ve all worn the frowny face instead of the smiley face . But the psalmist continued with a conscious choice — a choice to remember what is true and the One who is faithful. He chose to speak to his soul from the knowledge he had and he told himself, “hope thou in God.” Our hope is proven. It is constant and enduring. It is sufficient. Why? How? Because our hope is Jesus.
The psalmist spoke, with the knowledge he had of his God and determinedly said, “I shall yet praise Him,” and knowing his God, he proclaimed Him to be “the health of my countenance.” (Psalm 42:11) As Christians, we can have that same determined confidence in the Hope that we know to be true. Jesus has promised that He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5) and that He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach, direct, and strengthen us (John 14:26, John 16:13, Eph 3:16) Remembering those things will change “the health of our countenance” and put a smile on our faces regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the day.
How to Celebrate “World Smile Day”?
It’s really very simple. Share a smile with someone today. If you feel like smiling, praise the Lord. If you don’t feel like smiling, trust the Lord and smile anyway! As Christians, we always have something to smile about.
To make it easy to share a smile, we’re offering you several “smile” greetings. Post them on Facebook, tweet them on Twitter, share them to Instagram, or text or email these smiles. When you do, use it as an opportunity to share the reason for your smile. Always be ready to share your faith and put a true smile on the face of others (TRACTS below).
Borrowing words from the ever-popular song, His Eye is on the Sparrow:
I smile because I’m happy, I smile because I’m free,
For the Lord’s eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
SHARE THE GOSPEL!
The Top Ten Power of Hope Articles from 2018
- JESUS WEPT. Why? And…it’s not the shortest verse in the Bible!
- The GATE OF THE YEAR: A Message to a Troubled Nation
- TWO WOMEN—Two Stories—Two Songs
- “LAUGHTER is the Best Medicine” Who Said That?
- The WIZARD OF OZ and God
- Following the Good, Great, and Chief SHEPHERD
- The best EULOGY to remember a father!
- ISRAEL Celebrates 70 YEARS As A Nation & the Significance for Christians
- HELLO DARKNESS, My Old Friend: The Sounds of Silence
- CHARLIE BROWN THEOLOGY
Our Ministry’s Two Favorite Articles from 2018:
Facing Terminal Cancer with Hope & Joy
When the Battle is Lost but the Victory is Won — Saying Goodbye to a Friend
The Top Ten Got Questions? Articles from 2018
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- Is my TATTOO a sin?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
- Where did OT Saints go at death?ABRAHAM'S BOSOM? Where was that?
- Why Does the LGBT Use God’s Rainbow For Its Flag?
- Should we call HIS NAME Jesus? Or Yahweh?Or Yeshua?
- Jesus said, I NEVER KNEW YOU. Why?
- CanJEWS go to HEAVEN without knowing Jesus?
Other Popular Questions:
- Something ALL Christians must know: IVDARR
- Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER? Or Should We Call Him Satan?
- If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Baptized Again?
- Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
- Why Is PRAYER Important?
- Is There a Hidden Message in Revelation 7?
- What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS?
- Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
- What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
- Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?
Top Three Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
- Christian Version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
- Memorial Day Bagpipes Tribute: Amazing Grace
- Psalm 34 – Taste and See That the Lord is Good
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