Late in the afternoon one day last month, I found myself in line at a Rite Aid pharmacy counter, a bit annoyed and in a hurry. I’d been racing around trying to meet a deadline and dealing with other frustrating odds and ends. So there I stood, mentally tapping an impatient foot when the man in front of me turned around with a big smile and said hello. He was probably in his 40s and appeared to suffer from a severe mental disability. His caretaker talked to him as if he were a young child. As the line slowly moved forward, he turned again and said hello, and that’s when my day suddenly got a whole lot better. I realized then that this man, who came into the world with a gazillion disadvantages, had something very special that I, at that moment, did not — a pleasant smile and a sunny disposition.

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