Earn your ‘smile badge’ to­day

Talk of the Town - - Opinion - KATHRYN KC LOWTHER

THANK you so much for the op­por­tu­nity to speak on my ex­pe­ri­ence in Malawi [with Oper­a­tion Smile].

I have learnt that in as lit­tle as an hour, an en­tire life can be changed. A per­son can go from be­ing com­pletely ashamed of how they look and from be­ing bul­lied about their ap­pear­ance, to hav­ing the most gor­geous and mean­ing­ful smile.

I have learnt to look past peo­ple’s de­fects on the out­side.

No mat­ter what you look like on the out­side, it’s truly what’s on the in­side that counts and all of the pa­tients’ per­son­al­i­ties and grate­ful­ness shines right through any cleft.

This ex­pe­ri­ence has also taught me to be even more self­less. Small things like a smile badge can be more ap­pre­ci­ated than you could ever imag­ine. Serv­ing oth­ers and show­ing that you care about some­one else’s hap­pi­ness over your own, can fill you with so much joy that just can­not be found any­where else.

No mat­ter how long the days at the hos­pi­tal may be – see­ing the look on a pa­tient’s face when they see them­selves for the first time af­ter surgery, will be en­graved in my mind for­ever.

I re­ally en­cour­age every­one to step out of their com­fort zone and to vol­un­teer for an or­gan­i­sa­tion close to your heart.

I prom­ise you that it will change your out­look on life.

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