* SMILE POWER – by Pauline Hager

Something simple as a smile can truly make your day.  Sometimes, the recollection of one special smile can  last a lifetime. I have never forgotten an incident that happened to me in Bulgaria many years ago. It was nothing earthshaking, simply a smile from an old woman. The rotund old woman, hunched over and dressed completely in black, sat on a lone chair against the wall, staring into space. Whatever her thoughts, it was obvious they were not pleasant. I was standing in a long line, waiting to use the public restroom in a small wooden building adjacent to a rustic-style restaurant. I had just finished lunch at this Eastern European restaurant, a few miles from the ancient village of Arbanas, Bulgaria. To pass the time waiting for our turn into the toilet room, we women chatted with each other about our trip. Occasionally I would glance over at the white-haired woman. She looked so forlorn. As women came out of the toilet room, they rushed by, completely ignoring her. No one was tipping her for keeping such a clean room. I’ll have to admit, I did the same.


As I returned to the waiting bus, I had second thoughts. Guilt gnawed at my conscience. The tour guide had informed us that many retired people must continue to work although they collect a small pension, but it is not enough to survive. Many resort to begging. Since there was plenty of time before boarding, I decided to return to the restroom. She was still there. I walked over to where she was sitting and stood in front of her. She looked up at me with a quizzical look in her sad eyes. Then she saw my outreached hand . . .

                STORY CONTINUES IN

TALES2INSPIRE ™ Emerald_RD The Emerald Collection



Pauline Hager is the author of two books, Memoirs of an American Housewife in Japan and Giorgi’s Greek  Tragedy. Pauline and her husband have traveled extensively in the states and overseas. She writes about her travels and submits them to a monthly e-newsletter FoxandQuill. In addition to planting and maintaining miniature plants in their garden railroad, Pauline loves to write, read books, travel, and walks two miles daily. A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of The University of South Carolina, Pauline is a long time resident of Southern California and writes from her home in La Jolla, California. Meet her on Facebook.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire project here. 


About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for MakeMeHeal.com, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: www.FabulousBeautyBlog.wordpress.com to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit www.tales2inspire.com to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at: www.tales2inspire.com.

Posted on June 29, 2012, in Authentic women, Making the World a Better Place, Peaceful Reflections, Tales2Inspire, Words to Inspire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. A smile is definitely an international thing. Smiling is not only good for the receiver, but also, medicinal at times for the sender. When I am down and out, I many times force myself to smile. In doing so, my whole attitude changes. Yes, I do remember the song “When your smiling…When You’re Smiling, the whole world smiles with you.” A great adage to live by. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Pauline has an incredible memory for the smallest details from her journeys and I hadn’t heard this story before. I really enjoyed reading it and I absolutely agree that a smile can work wonders, even if a tiny wonder with the crabbiest of souls. The seller in St. Petersburg undoubtedly had a chip on her shoulder from some past slight but no excuse to be furious when someone is willingly buying her wares! Perhaps she considered you to be unaware of the value of hard-earned money because you didn’t bargain her down? We will never know but hopefully, she will remember like the others that your attitude came from the right place, your heart.

  3. Thank you for the reminder to smile more often. I enjoyed your story.

  4. Cecile M Bell

    Great visual depiction of all the different applications of the SMILE. It was great to observe
    every situation and compare our own travels. It brought to mind my favorite quote by Anne Frank. ” Happy people make others happy!” The smile is and wonderful free tool that so many forget to employ. Great story of compassion and appreciation for others. Thanks for sharing. I also smiled because my mothers name is Pauline. 🙂 Where next?

    • Cecile, sorry I’m so late in getting back to you to thank you for your nice comments. I appreciate it. It’s also interesting to know that your mother’s name is Pauline. It’s not a very common name and I’m always surprised when I hear it. This year, we are staying in the country and going to a National Garden Railroad Convention in Chicago. However, Viking is constantly attempting to lure us overseas with their tempting cruises.

  5. This wonderful tale, by Pauline Hager, reminds us of the power and beauty in a simple smile. She reminds us, through her travels, that smiles are all around the world–even in the worst of situations. Just reading her story has made me want to smile more and complain less, for as she writes, a smile is contagious. and has the rippling effect of a pebble tossed into a pond.

    Micki Peluso: reviewer, journalist and author

  6. Thanks, Micki, for equating my tale to that wise, old metaphor, “a smile has the rippling effect of a pebble tossed into a pond.” When I wrote my tale, I never thought of that but it is so true. .

  7. To all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on the impact of Pauline’s story, I wanted to express my appreciation. As creator of this Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project, it is indeed gratifying to learn how deeply other readers are touched or impacted by each of these these ‘tales’.

    You can read more inspiring stories of body, mind and soul at my Facebook PAGE.

    Live in Beauty

    Warm regards,
    Lois W. Stern

  8. Thank you Lois for forwarding this story … I have also experienced that smiling will not only bring a smile on other peoples faces and alter their moods, but it also uplifts my spirits as well. So I do practice smiling even if I do not feel like it, as in the end, my outlook onto the world will definitely change for the better!
    Hannelore Leavy

    • Oh, I absolutely agree. When I encounter someone in a bad mood, I try to snap them out of it with a kind word and warm smile. It usually works too. So little effort to gain such good results. It’s just a feel good thing to do.

      Best to you,

  9. Yes, Judy, that song evokes so many memories. I remember Louis Armstrong singing it with his raspy voice. So true, Smiles are the international language, but healing for both giver and recipient!

  1. Pingback: INTRODUCING PAULINE HAGER AND HER INSPIRING TALE: A Smile goes a Long Way « Tales2Inspire

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