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SAVANNAH, Ga. — Jaden Hayes’ parents are both dead.
His father died when he was four years old. Last month, Jaden tried to wake up his sleeping mom, she had died unexpectedly in her sleep.
“I tried, and I tried and I tried to get her awake — I couldn’t,” Jaden told the CBS Evening News.
What happens next will melt your heart.
Young Jaden, still in mourning.
Young innocent Jaden, still devastated by his loss.
Frustrated young Jaden, tired of all the sad faces.
Jaden asks his aunt to buy several small toys.
Jaden’s goal to bring them downtown and give them to strangers.
Jaden’s objective, to search for people who are not smiling and hand them a gift.
Yes, this amazing young man, who has every reason to hate the world, has decided to spread love, and make other people happy.
“But I’m still sad my mom died,” he told the CBS Evening News.
Jaden’s aunt said, #TheSmileExperiment is helping him find a new purpose.
So far, Jaden has counted over 500 smiles. His goal is to collect 33,000 smiles.
We live in an age, where social media and blog comments make it easy for us to be cruel to others. We do this to feel good about ourselves.
Next time you post something mean, or decide to say something hurtful, ask yourself, why you are you saying it.
Are you saying it, so you can feel better about yourself, so you can feel empowered?
It’s tempting isn’t it?
Here’s a little secret; You are better than that.
Think of young Jaden, think of his pain. Let Jaden Hayes inspire you to be better.
Instead of hurting somebody’s feelings, do the opposite, say or do something nice for a friend or stranger. Make them smile.
I guarantee you it will be a lot more rewarding.