A cost free gift of happiness.

Remembering on Dartmoor

A cost free gift of happiness.

Sitting on a mound on Dart moor, a beautiful warm sunny day, I recalled a happening in younger days.
It was a warm sunny day also and many friends gathered at a young persons party, Beth didn’t have much to offer as she came from a poor family, but she arrived with a white pillow case tided up with string, when it came to her turn to hand over the gift she had brought, she opened the case carefully and took out a plain brown box, she handed it to her friend, reached inside her pocket and took out her camera the instant kind, it had been a gift from her uncle earlier that year, she liked taking pictures, but as film was expensive she had to be selective with her subjects.
She told her friend to open the box,
The birthday girl Jane opened the box, a big smile shone on her face, at this point the photo was taken, the photo popped out of the camera, and she offered it to Jane along with a sheet of paper. Jane read the paper in silence, and when she had finished she gestured over at the pillow case sack.
“Oh, so it’s….”
“Yes!” interrupted Beth, undoing the knot which sealed the case” It’s a great big pile of smiles!”
She opened the case and hundreds of photos fell out, all of different smiles, each one of them beautiful.
The rest of the party goers tried to work out how Beth had managed to create such a big chain of happiness. All there was in the box was a photo of a big smile, but everyone who had seen it had felt happiness transmitted to them, and in return without even thinking about it, every person had responded with a smile of their own.
With all her friends now smiling, Beth took a photo of each one of them. She gave them their own photo along with a slip of paper, which asked them to do the same with other people, and to send copies of the photo to her home address, for months afterwards, Beth’s post box was always full to the brim with photos of happy, smiling people.
And so it was that she managed to spread understanding of the simple truth that every time you smile you are sending a gift to the world.


By Kate Whitmarsh

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