Maysa: Smile #11

March 14, 2012 (Smile #11, San Francisco) — Meet Maysa. Everyday after work, she goes home to cook a big dinner for her parents and four siblings.  Cooking is a lot of work, especially for a big family like hers, so I decided to give her a break and bring a little happiness in her day by treating her out to lunch at Osha.

Although I’ve known Maysa for two years as a colleague, I discovered something new about her today during our “happiness lunch.”  For more than a year, Maysa has been sponsoring a 10-year-old girl, named Sayuri, from Columbia.

Maysa’s decision to sponsor this child was based on her love for children.  She felt in her heart that she always wanted to help kids in need.  What’s more, Maysa practices Islam and I learned that one of the Five Pillars of Islam is to give to the needy — and I understood this was the root of her giving nature.

After our lunch, Maysa was inspired by my happiness project so she decided to start helping local charities and non-profit organizations and see where her efforts are going.   Basically, Maysa is just like the rest of us — giving to others makes us feel good and it makes the world a happier place.

The Dalai Lama puts it more eloquently: “If you want OTHERS to be happy, practice compassion.  If YOU want to be happy, practice compassion.”

I officially started documenting “my happiness project” on January 30, 2012. Each day, I will publish the special person who has invited me into their life. I invite you to come along the journey with me and collect smiles and spread happiness to one person — one day at at time.

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