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August 20, 2017

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The Greeter of Bermuda

August 20, 2017

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The Greeter of Bermuda

August 20, 2017

Just over a year ago Johnny Barnes, known as the greeter of Bermuda, passed away.

 

For 30 years come rain or shine, Johnny rose at 3 am, walked two miles to his post and spent six hours telling the world how much he loved everyone. He would smile and wave at passersby, shout 'I love you!', sometimes holding flowers.

 

At first people dismissed him as a madman, but eventually Johnny became an icon of Bermuda.

When he passed away, one newspaper wrote that he took the secret of his happiness with him. But did he?

 

'Smile at the world, and the world smiles back' is a well-known bit of folk-wisdom. And it's true. The very act of giving to others, even something as simple as a smile, is a sure route to happiness.

That's because, as Jewish sources teach, we don't just do what we feel; we feel what we do. Our actions influence our feelings. Giving itself turns us into givers; and givers are happy.

 

We don't need to go as far as Johnny Barnes, but giving away a smile a day costs nothing - and it goes a long way.

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