For the test of the heart is trou­ble, and it al­ways comes with years, And the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through tears. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919)

Activated - - NEWS - By An­drew Mateyak An­drew Mateyak is a mem­ber of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional in the Philip­pines. Fol­low his work on his FB pro­file, Ac­ti­vated CDO.

When I pon­der who the great­est peo­ple in my world are, I find there are so many to choose from. There are great men and women from the past with out­stand­ing ac­com­plish­ments, my won­der­ful par­ents who raised me well, my teach­ers, and so many good peo­ple mak­ing sac­ri­fices to help oth­ers around the world.

Some­one else who comes to my mind is my friend Nilo. I first met Nilo at a mar­ket sev­eral years ago. I was walk­ing by and I saw him push­ing him­self along. You see, Nilo is dis­abled. I didn’t have much money with me but I took what change I had and put it in the cup which he held out. He looked up at me with a won­der­ful smile.

“Thank you, my friend,” he re­sponded, and some­thing about the way he said it made me feel good in­side.

The next time I was at the mar­ket, I went back over to the same spot to see if Nilo was still there. As soon as his eyes met mine, they lit up with that won­der­ful smile again.

“Hello, my friend!” he shouted out across the road and waved his hands as I went over to see him.

We talked for a while, and from that day on, when­ever I was at the mar­ket, I al­ways tried to take the time to see him.

“What is it about Nilo that makes him dif­fer­ent from other peo­ple I see there on the side of the road?” I asked my wife.

We thought about it awhile, then came to the con­clu­sion: “It’s his smile!” In spite of his hard­ships and his dis­abil­i­ties, he doesn’t sit look­ing de­pressed as if he hates life and the world around him. No, he al­ways has that won­der­ful smile on his face and cheer­fully calls me his friend, even if I don’t have much to give him.

That’s a great per­son! That’s some­one I re­spect, some­one who can face the hard­ships of his life ev­ery day with a smile and keep mov­ing for­ward in spite of the dif­fi­cul­ties. If we could be like that, the world would be a bet­ter place for ev­ery­one.

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