# The Price of a Smile

How much do you think a smile would cost?  What value would you assign to a smile given to you?  How would you calculate the residual effect of seeing a smile?

Would you pay .05 (five cents US)?  That’s the price a parent in Luxor would pay for one balloon.  Ah, no problem you say.  It’s a very small price, except in Luxor it might be the choice between something to eat and a balloon for your child.

This idea started when I tossed some balloons from my balcony to kids in the street below.  The resulting whoops and yells resulted in the remaining balloons floating from my balcony.

The lightbulb lit up like a searchlight!  What if I could give balloons to more kids?  Distribution was the issue.  If I walked through the street I would be mobbed!

Ahh, of course, enlist Mustafa and the carriage.  He was definitely up for this.  What he didn’t know was that he was going to help me blow up 400 balloons on two separate days and give them to the children.

It began in a relatively small way but quickly escalated to a mob scene.  Children came streaming out of buildings like red ants on the march. These kids didn’t need a cellphone to spread the word, they just yelled “balloon”.

Obviously it wasn’t only the kids who were smiling. We had a great time with the balloons as well.

And along with us, there were smiles from parents, grandparents and neighbors.  Along the street we even got smiles and thanks from store owners and people on the street.

Drivers of several “jitneys” stopped when passengers yelled out. We shared balloons with people who had kids in tow.

So, again, the question, “what price do you put on a smile?”

We calculated that with 400 balloons we could have generated more than 2,000 smiles.  That, divided by the price of four bags of balloons told us that the smiles of children are priceless.

When was the last time you caused someone to smile?  Simple things like telling a stranger on the street how cute, beautiful, interesting, creative or colourful their hat, shirt, shoes, umbrella or jacket is.  When did you tell a store employee their attitude was great? Have you ever noticed how a woman’s face lights up when you compliment a hairstyle?

Make someone’s day, generate some smiles.

Smiles, like yawns are reciprocal.  Share yours today.

## 6 thoughts on “The Price of a Smile”

1. rose Kipp says:

This was a wonderfully uplifting post! I enjoyed reading it very much, and the smiles on those children’s faces….priceless!

Like

1. Thanks. It has been fun for me to not only see the joy on the faces of the kids and others but to see the joy on the face of Mustafa to be able to cheer up the kids. Or, in his words to “uplift” people.

Like

2. Georgann Williams says:

There you go again, girl! You are amazing, and one of the most positive people I know! What a great Idea! What a warm touch!

On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 8:15 PM, Travels With The Red Suitcase wrote:

> sherrillmadden posted: “How much do you think a smile would cost? What > value would you assign to a smile given to you? How would you calculate > the residual effect of seeing a smile? Would you pay .05 (five cents US)? > That’s the price a parent in Luxor would pay for one ballo” >

Like

1. Glad you enjoyed the photos and story. Be sure to take some balloons with you on your African volunteer project!

Like

3. Kate Benson says:

Hello, I am new to your site and so very interested as I am 66 and retiring in Jan 2018, I too am a single woman planning to hit the road on my social security. I hope I run into you.
I just read about Mustafa’s carriage in Luxor from January. Is that fund still going? Did he get his carriage?

Like

1. Thanks for asking. Yes, he has his own carriage now and is in an improved situation.

Like