Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
(Jokingly) Ok, somebody didn’t smile at you and was smiling at himself being adjacent to you, is that your problem! (laughter) The world is like that, some people don’t smile at you, you don’t smile at someone. Leave others. Are you smiling? We maintain our smile that is good enough.
Everybody has one’s own set of problems and if that much compassion has arisen in you then you go and ask, ‘What is your problem? Why are you not smiling? Do you need any help?’ But then see whom are you asking (laughter) and in case you are slapped by someone, then give them your second cheek too. (Huge laughter) If that compassion is there, then ask everyone, ‘Why are you not smiling?’
Once in Switzerland, we were waiting for some conveyance and we saw that nobody on the road was smiling. I thought, everything is here and still people are not smiling. I had so many flowers with me and so I asked the devotees who were accompanying me to give flowers to those who were not smiling on the road and ask them to smile. That was such a fantastic program. After that we raised a wave called ‘Spread your smile’ in Netherland, France, Germany, Switzerland where people give flowers and said, ‘ Please smile and make others smile by passing on this flower’. Some people were shocked initially that nobody till that day bothered about their smile and suddenly somebody coming and asking them to smile.
But if you are in India, take care before giving flower to anybody. (laughter) Be a little cautious before giving a flower here in India. In India, if a girl smiles at a boy it is taken in a different sense. It is not normal, and a boy giving a flower to a girl is not taken as a very nice gesture. (Huge laughter) But in Europe, it is not considered bad. (Somebody from audience asked, ‘Let’s start this in New York also’.) Yes, we are doing there also, something called ‘A Rose of friendship, Pass it on’.