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The Priceless Gift of a Knee-High Smile

She was just over knee-high standing next to me in the checkout line. I first saw her eyeing a display of candy as she followed her mother and brothers through the store.

When this little toddler gazed up at me with her big dark eyes and innocent expression, I couldn't help but smile at her. Then, without hesitation, she gave me one of the widest, brightest, bubbly grins I had ever seen! Those dark innocent eyes came alive with an intense joy that warmed me from head to toe.

Her smile seemed to shout, "Hi! Isn't it great to be alive together in such a neat place?"

Five years have passed since that exuberant knee-high smile. The picture remains as fresh in my mind as it was that afternoon. I wonder what this little girl would think if she knew that her smile painted an indelible picture in someone's mind.

The simplest gifts are often the most precious gifts, and the gifts we have to share are many.

People have incredible talents, often undiscovered. They have the wisdom of experience, often unspoken. They have love that they need to share, often locked inside them. Moreover, all people need love and acceptance - no matter how stern and unyielding they appear on the surface.

Small acts of kindness speak in loud voices. They inspire hope where there was doubt. They bring comfort to those who are hurting. Sincere compliments remind others how valuable and special they are.

A kind gesture given to a stranger is an extremely powerful reminder that God shares love through his children. These priceless gifts inspire faith.

Encouraging words to a child are powerful emotional deposits of self-esteem. Meeting injustice with forgiveness and integrity sets an example that can point young lives in a positive direction. These are gifts with life-long effects more valuable than any amount of gold.

It has been said, "What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are scattered along life's pathway, and the good they do is inconceivable." No one can take these priceless gifts away.

The value of a gift is the unending love that continues to touch the lives of many. If the gift of a beautiful knee-high smile can paint a lasting picture, think of all the value contained in the precious gifts that you could share with someone today!

Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve your top potential. Get the next issue by visiting

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