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An 8-Year-Old Experiments With Smiles

My 8-year-old daughter is experimenting with kindness and smiles. She has been making her own colourful smile cards in all the colours of the rainbow and often takes them to school or stuffs her pockets with them when we go out to run errands. She makes them very carefully and takes great pride in her work Emotion: smile

Last Sunday, I took the kids grocery shopping with me. My daughter packed her pockets with about 20 of her homemade smile cards. She was hoping to see John, who is an elderly man who gives out samples. We see him from time to time and he is so happy and friendly, that we can't help feeling good talking to him. John wasn't at the store on Sunday, so my daughter decided that it would be a good idea to distribute her smile cards to all the store's other employees.

As much as I have taught her about stranger danger, I have also talked to her about strangers being potential friends. So, after asking my permission, she proceeded to give her smile cards to various store employees. In the produce department, she gave a card to a young man who asked her where she found it (unsure what it was) and she told him she had made it and she hoped it would make him smile...and he smiled at her and thanked her. She came across an older gentleman who was shopping and looking rather grumpy and impatient...and she snuck a card into his cart on top of his groceries, remarking to me later that he looked at her suspiciously as if she was dumping trash in his cart. We talked about how when he saw what it was, he might smile and feel happier.

The biggest lesson I think she got from our shopping trip came when she had run out of cards. She was walking by a woman with two babies in her cart, the babies were fussing and she was looking tired. My daughter smiled at her and the young mother smiled back. That's when a lightbulb must have gone off in my daughter. She came to me and said, "Mom, I just realized something. You don't need cards to make someone smile, all you need to do is make eye contact and smile into their eyes and they will smile back."

What a beautiful lesson my daughter reminded me of. It is so easy for us every day to make eye contact with people we pass on our travels and smile. To make a joke or offer a friendly wordor two to the person pouring your coffee or driving the bus or to just say hello to a stranger...and you are never too young (or old) to experiment with kindness and smiles Emotion: smile

1. What does "samples" here refer to?
2. What does "fussing" here mean? Does it cause its mother worried or tired?
3. What's the meaning of "That's when a lightbulb must have gone off in my daughter"?
4. Can we use "convinced me of " here instead of "reminded me of"?
5. 4. Can we use "speak a friendly word " here instead of "offer a friendly word "?
1. It seems that John is a store employee whose job it is to give out samples. These would be free representative items which might encourage the customers to make a purchase.

2. To say that babies are fussing is to suggest that they are reacting to some discomfort or unhappiness by crying or exhibiting some other restless behavior. They're often just trying to get attention.

3. This is a device borrowed from the comic strips, suggesting that someone has just had a "bright idea."

4. I don't think so. The meanings are quite different. I don't think either one is effective.
I'd say, "What a beautiful lesson my daughter taught me!"

You seem to be talking about a principle rather than a lesson. If she's calliing your attention to a "good way of acting" that you're already aware of, that's not a lesson.
Well, perhaps the lesson might be that this way of acting really works!

She taught me a lesson! (reply) What was the lesson? What did you learn?
You could say, "Describe the lesson." This means, "Explain how she taught you ."

People sometimes say, "I learned a good lesson!" but I don't think it's right.
Edit. I may be exaggerating the point. We often speak of "lessons learned," in which we really refer to the things learned, not the lessons.

5. Yes, that would be good.
Thank you for your wonderful explanation!

If only I knew the content of the comic strip!