Even the slightest smile can go a mile

Maina Ibn Mohammed

Business Manager

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” Aesop, Greek fabulist and storyteller, said.

Never in a million years would I imagine myself graduating from an American institution. I was born and raised in Nigeria.

When I learned that my uncle was bringing me to America for college, I was perplexed. Here I am four years later currently holding two degrees and receiving two more in December. My life would have had a completely different outcome if not for his help.

Reflect on the last time you helped or offered to help someone, whether it was holding the door open for a classmate, paying for a friend’s lunch or helping someone unload groceries.

While you were doing the action and after that, how did you feel? Joy and contentment, right?

Giving is like an exercise for the soul. Conclusively, science has agreed that there are mental and physical health benefits to helping others. Some of the benefits are the reduction of depression, lower blood pressure and the lengthening of one’s lifespan.

An old Chinese proverb tells it faultlessly. “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

The help you offer does not have to be monetary. You could offer advice and support to friends and family. You could help your classmate through some tough homework or the simplest of all charity, smiling. Just smile and others will smile back.

After reading this article, if you have loose change in your pockets, buy coffee for a friend. Hold the door open for someone. Offer advice to your friend and listen to their problems. Volunteer at a charity event. Look for nonprofits on campus and join their movement. And if all this is out of reach for you, just smile.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”

Maina Ibn-Mohammed

1 Comment

  1. Nice and good source of motivation. More ink to your pen bro

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