If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: The quote emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the ones we care for most. Life can be tough, and at times, we may find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook. In those moments, Angelou reminds us that our limited resources of happiness should be shared with those who matter most in our lives. By doing so, we not only strengthen our bonds with our loved ones, but also create a support system that nurtures us when we need it the most.

Who said the quote?

The quote "If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love." was said by Maya Angelou (Bio / Quotes). Maya Angelou was an American poet, author, and civil rights activist who is best known for her memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

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What's the quote's message?

This quote emphasizes the power and value of generosity, particularly in sharing positive emotions with those we hold dear. The "smile" referred to is a metaphor, representing all the goodness, kindness, and warmth that we carry within us. It serves as a reminder that we should prioritize expressing these positive feelings towards the people we love most, as our emotional resources may sometimes feel finite.

Yet, the quote also subtly conveys a message about selective expression of our feelings. While it's beneficial and necessary to share our positivity with the world, we must remember the importance of directing our most heartfelt emotions towards those we love. This helps in strengthening our relationships and ensuring that those who matter most to us feel valued and loved.

Additionally, the quote reminds us of the importance of being proactive in expressing our love and care. We might sometimes keep our feelings to ourselves, thinking that they're apparent or that there'll be another time to express them. However, life is uncertain and fleeting, and it's important to make the most of the present moment. So, if we have but one smile to give, we should give it to our loved ones without delay.

Ultimately, this quote is about the beauty of giving, the power of love, and the importance of prioritizing our loved ones in our expressions of joy and affection.

Is there a historical example that illustrates the message of the quote?

There's a historical example that can be interpreted to reflect this quote's sentiment. The story of Mother Teresa stands out as one who dedicated her life to giving love, compassion, and smiles to those who needed them most. While not focusing solely on those she loved in a traditional sense, her actions encapsulated the idea of giving your last smile (i.e., your last bit of energy, compassion, and care) to those in dire need.

Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who lived most of her life in India. She was known for her charitable work and humanitarian efforts, especially her work with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. She helped the sick, the poor, and the most disenfranchised members of society who had often been forgotten by others. Many people found hope in her actions and words, symbolized by her infectious and comforting smile.

Though the quote suggests giving your one smile to people you love, Mother Teresa's story implies extending that love to humanity as a whole. It underscores the belief that one's smallest gestures, like a smile, can provide a tremendous amount of comfort and happiness to those who need it most, thereby magnifying the significance of sharing positivity and affection.

It's important to note that while Mother Teresa is widely celebrated for her selfless acts, her legacy is not without controversy, with some critics highlighting problematic aspects of her mission. As with any historical figure, it's crucial to approach their story with a nuanced perspective.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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