A father was worried about his son, he wanted him to become strong, confident, and well respected when he grew up. He visited the wise man of the village and asked, “O wise one, how can I make my son strong?” “Teach him how to smile” said the wise man.

Confused the father returned home to his son and started teaching him how to smile, about the importance of smiling and how it shows you are happy. His son went through high school very quietly, very timid and didn’t do much other that spend time at home with family. His father concerned again paid a visit to the wise man of the village and asked him “O wise one, my son is still very quiet and timid, how can I make him strong?” “Teach him how to smile” said the wise man.

Again the father returned home to discuss smiling with his son, how smiling was the beginning of happiness and how a smile could make any hard situation better. His son finished up high school and went off to university, returning every holiday. When his son returned he wouldn’t do much other than spend time with family, he didn’t take part in much of what was going on during campus life and didn’t seem any more confident.

Worried that his time to shape his son was coming to an end he visited the wise man one last time, “O wise one, how can I make my son strong?”, “Teach him how to smile” responded the wise man. Believing in the wisdom of the wise man he returned home to his son and once again explained the importance of smiling and how it can make a positive difference in his life.

On his son’s graduation day the father was shocked to see his son selected to give the graduation speech, being nominated by his class as the most likely to become president. With all the confidence in the world his son delivered a speech that captured the hearts and minds of everyone in the audience.

After the ceremony the father hugged his son and with tears in his eyes asked him “Son, how did you become so strong??” His son responded “Father, I was bullied in high school, that’s why I stayed home a lot. I didn’t have many friends, that’s why I spent most of my time with you and mom. I didn’t make it into any of the university clubs or groups I wanted, that’s why I came home every vacation.

But I remembered everything you taught me, and I kept smiling. I kept reminding myself that I needed to be the source of inspiration and joy in my life before anything else. I kept reminding myself that no matter how hard a situation was a smile was the first step to making it better. In my last year of university people started to notice that I would always be smiling and asked why.

I then taught them everything you taught me and started to become their source of joy. I became someone they wanted to follow because no matter what was going on in the world, no matter how many things were holding us back, I would always find a reason to smile and keep moving forward. Thank you father for teaching me how to smile, thank you for teaching me how to be strong.”