From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

July 12

Last year Maya was in kindergarten. One day she came home from school, bubbling over with excitement. “Mama, guess what! There’s a new girl in my class, and she doesn’t speak any English, and I’m her new best friend. I decided today!”

I met Stephanie when it came time for the Halloween party. She was clearly scared and withdrawn. Never once smiling, she sat as the other kids played games.

The days flew by, and each day Maya came home from school babbling about how her day went, what Stephanie learned, etc. I was usually too busy to really listen to my daughter and never realized what I was missing until the day I went to teach her class sign language and saw Stephanie.

I couldn’t believe the transformation. She still spoke very little English, but now she tried to participate. Most of her communication with Maya was pointing, helping, gesturing.

That night I told Maya how proud I was of her and asked her how she created this amazing friendship without a word of language. She looked up at me and said,“I smiled.”


All it takes is a smile to reach out to someone.

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