Planting seeds of peace in the world, growing one smile at a time.
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
~ Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Become a piece of peace. How does it get any better than this? And it always does!
~ Debra Joy Hart RN BFA CLL-E, CT, CHP, Joyologist
“Peace begins with a smile.” ~ Mother Teresa
When I first heard this quote, I said to myself, “I can do this.”
In 2012, as part of my Humor Academy (AATH) studies, I started the 1000 Red Noses project. It formalized what I have been doing for many years. I found out that the United Kingdom has been doing a RED NOSE DAY since 1988, raising money for people in the UK and Africa. The U.S. version started in May 2015. I supplied and handed out red noses (not the ones from Walgreens) at a local coffee shop and raised almost $200 for our local foodbank.
A singe Red Nose, whether seen and/or worn, is symbolic of the potential to smile. Human smiles can be a symbol for possibilities and hope. The physical act of smiling can create positive brain chemistry leading to increased emotional and physical health.
1000 Red Noses educates and creates an experience for the positive effects of humor and laughter on the mind, body and spirit. Education is offered to corporations, healthcare, schools, orphanages, business and ministries through Laughter Exercises (worldlaughtertour.com), visual arts (PowerPoint presentations) and scientific inquiry and knowledge (aath.org and worldlaughtertour.com).
In all 1,000 Red Noses presentations and gatherings, everyone is offered a single red nose.
The fun part is traveling all over the world presenting red noses. Red Noses were handed out at the base of Machu Pichu, tempering a riot. Chicago Police Department rode on bicycles through the city, appreciating the jocularity of red noses as they patrolled Occupy Chicago demonstrations in 2011. The Mayor of Komatsu Japan wore a red nose as he met with townsfolk. A bed and breakfast host in Ireland smiled widely with a red nose. College classes around the Midwest and Japan proudly sported red noses. A 102 year old woman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada) and a 10 minute old newborn from Sierra Leone, Africa have been touched with a red nose.
And, what do Canadian Ursaline nuns and Peruvian shamans have in common? Red Noses.
Traveling the markets of Huarez, Peru, I handed out red noses. One gentleman sitting with his adult daughter took one. He posed and gave a lopsided full grinned smile. His daughter rushed after me and the translator said, “My father had a stroke and this is the first time he has smiled in months.” The daughter had tears in her eyes that showed nothing but gratitude for this red nose gesture.
And therefore I bring 1000 red noses as I travel to certain countries. Because if I can make at least 1 person smile each day, I feel as if I have made the world a little more peaceful place, one nose at a time.
Really. How does it get any better than this?
Perhaps this prayer from an anonymous clown sums up what is in my heart:
As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
“When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile.”