Question of the Month Responses: Smile-Worthy Moments

Originally written March 31, 2014

This month, we asked you to share something smile-worthy with us — an inspiring story, thought, quote, photo, video, or moment! You did not disappoint! Special shout out to Kezia Williams, N. Young, Simone, Alex Echols, Zakiya, Candice, Saritha, Justine, and Corey Ponder for your contributions.

Quote: “I always tell myself that we are born here not to work, but to enjoy life. We are here to make things better for one another, and not to work. If you are spending your whole life working, you will certainly regret it. No matter how successful you are in your career, you must always remember that we are here to live.” -Jack Ma (Submitted by Alex Echols)

“Let love elevate you” -Unknown

This quote inspires me everyday because it reminds me of my spouse whose love keeps me encouraged and motivates me to become a better version of myself. Think about who in your life encourages you to work on elevating yourself to reach your true potential and keeps you pushing rain or shine. Remember, love doesn’t have to only come from others, but can also come from within. Loving yourself is always necessary to becoming the best you can be in every aspect of life. (Submitted by Candice)

Last Saturday, my friend offered to give me a ride four blocks to my car in the freezing cold. I was grateful for her kind offer, especially considering I was dressed for Spring and not Winter. During our ride, she asked if she could give me a “goodie bag for the homeless” that a young mentee of hers had created. She said her mentee was 8 years old and had been personally saddened by seeing homeless people sitting on street corners while on her bus ride home. Half expecting a plastic bag with a few toiletries, I was surprised to find that the bag was a large nylon tote filled with toiletries, snacks, napkins, water and a note from Michelle (my friend’s mentee). The note said “I hope this bag helps you and makes you happy.” Seeing this note and knowing the purpose behind it brought a smile to my face. I am looking forward to seeing Michelle’s vision come true by distributing the tote bag very soon! Happy International Happiness Day! (Submitted by Kezia Williams)

Happiness is a costume party taken seriously by adults! (Submitted by Justine)

One warm summer night, a guy friend and I stumbled on a group of kids (probably ages 8–12) playing a game of pick-up football in the middle of a side street. My friend and I asked if we could join and while the boys were happy to let him play, they looked at me “a girl” pretty skeptically. We played for about 30 minutes until they got called in for the night. As we were leaving a little boy ran up to me, his hands cupped in front of him. He wordlessly opened them and put a firefly into my hands. I was SO touched! It was the best gift ever and one of my happiest DC memories. (Submitted by N. Young)

Comedy by Russell Peters makes me laugh! (Submitted by Saritha)

Showground was the largest internally displaced camp in Eldoret, Kenya. After the post-election violence that occurred in late 2007/early 2008, ten thousand Kikuyu were displaced from their homes. Almost two years later, three thousand were still there, living in make-shift tents with no clean running water. When I arrived at the camp, I didn’t realize that I was about to face one of the greatest challenges of my professional life. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that the victims of this terrible atrocity didn’t want just the basic human needs (clean water, food, shelter), but they also wanted their children to be able to go to school and pursue an education. With very limited resources, but with the help of key players, I created a kindergarten program. I reached out to the people of the camp with the assistance of a translator. I asked them if they would help me build a school. I managed to recruit a teacher, which was a very difficult task when you don’t have the resources to pay one. I approached American and European medical interns at Moi University Hospital to donate to this great cause. The kindergarten program for 4–9 year olds began on July 27, 2009, but not without the help of the entire Showground community. My experience at Showground instilled in me the belief that anything is possible with the conviction of determination, even when the odds are against you. For me, it’s not an option to accept no as an answer. (Submitted by Simone)

We have seen so many videos using Pharrell’s “Happy”, over the past several months, but this one right here is what really made me smile and start loving the song! (Submitted by Corey Ponder)

Anything pretty by Jimmy Fallon pretty much cracks me up. I want to get some friends to do the lip sync contest. (Submitted by Zakiya Jackson)

I have a lot of friends and family with young children and have recently taken to taking selfies with them. It’s so fun and the kids really like it! I just taught an 11 month old and she digs it. Contrary to popular belief, selfies are not the dumbest thing ever. 🙂 (Submitted by Zakiya Jackson)




Collected Young Minds gave young minds a space to share their thoughts, engage with a community of peers, and gave voice to their views without censorship or prerequisites. This is a collection of essays written between 2013 and 2019 from various authors.

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Corey Ponder

Corey Ponder

Tech policy professional by day, wannabe superhero by night. Passionate about building communities, spaces, and platforms focused on inclusion and empathy.

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