What My Smiley Face Mug Taught Me

What My Smiley Face Mug Taught Me

by Jeanne Sanner

I have a smiley face coffee mug. It’s my favorite mug for the very reason that it is always smiling.

My mug sits on my portable computer table. I was rolling my computer table from the living room to the den to do some printing (I didn’t have a wireless printer at the time).

I had reached the dining room when my favorite mug fell off the computer table and onto the hardwood floor. When I looked down, I was genuinely sad to see that the handle of my favorite mug had broken into several irreparable pieces.

I just stood there for a minute, looking down at my wounded companion, staring at the scattered handle chips, assessing the damage, and mourning the loss.


My eyes slowly moved from the chips to the cup portion of the mug lying next to the dining room table leg. There it was, fully intact, in all its glory, smiling up at me just as happy as ever. I suddenly realized, nothing, absolutely nothing could daunt its spirit; I shook my head in admiration and smiled back.

I started picking up the pieces, gently, and with regret; I threw the shattered remains of the handle into the kitchen trashcan, and started to do the same with the cup while silently saying goodbye to my friend, but I could not bring myself to put that smiley face in the trash. I just could not do it!

So, today my mug still smiles at me from my computer table, only now, instead of being filled to the brim with coffee, it is filled beyond its brim with lots of colorful pens and pencils; it could not be happier, and neither can I.

My smiling mug constantly reminds me of the most important lesson in life – it is not what happens to us that matters; it is how we respond to what happens to us that determines our level of peace and joy. That is not a new thought, but it is a powerful one, and I am so glad my happy face mug is still on my computer table to remind me of that lesson every day.