The gift of smiles


“A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

— believed to be based on the writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888)

a German rabbi best known as the intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.

Photo by John Urban

John Urban

John Urban

My friend John Urban is one of the most talented guys I know. A writer, television personality and photographer John is a bright and vibrant spirit. He also donates his time and efforts to raising awareness for the work of the international medical relief organization Interplast. Recently John traveled to Quang Ngai, Vietnam to take these pictures of children and young adults who received facial reconstruction surgery to correct a malformed soft palate. They also treat burn victims and those with other serious serious injuries or genetic birth defects.

For more than 40 years the surgeons of Interplast have worked to give the gift of smiles to thousands around the world. It’s this kind of selfless devotion to the benefit of others by sharing one’s talents that continues to instill an enduring faith in the future of humanity.

Give the gift of a smile today.


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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

  • What a nice story of a selfless act of kindness.

  • What a nice story of a selfless act of kindness.