The other day my dad commissioned me to go to town for him, to get a replacement hose for his log loader. With my little brother and sister in tow, I entered A-1 Coupling holding a big hose in a black garbage bag.

“Your dad called earlier, didn’t he?”

I laughed. The guy had me pegged.

Returning an hour later to pick up the new hose, the guy at the counter made conversation by asking, “So how has your day gone so far?”

“Wonderful!” I smiled.

The shock was evident on his face. “That’s good! It’s so nice to have someone come in here who’s actually happy. Usually they’re grumpy, and just grunt when I ask how they are. Or else they say, ‘We’ll see’.”

Before I left he repeated several more times how refreshing it was to have a happy person come in. Of course, he did admit that usually when men come in it’s because they have a part that needs fixing, so their frustration is understandable.

But in those few minutes at A-1 Coupling, as this man carried the hoses out to the trunk of my car, I realized how important it is to practice a “merry heart.” I’m known for smiling a lot, even at strangers in the mall. But usually my response to the “How are you today?” is too often simply, “Fine.” I need to work on saying, “Great, thank you!” more often.

In the future, I want to keep in mind that mine might be the only smile or cheerful word a person will encounter in a day. And if I have the power to brighten their day, I should take advantage of it. So maybe one of these days I’ll get up the courage to actually answer the “How are you?” with: “Splendiferous!”

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