Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
-J.M. Barrie

"Go Ahead, Make Someone's Day" from Spirituality and Health magazine by Louise Danielle Parker:

Even though it only takes a moment to make someone's day, such a moment can actually make a life-and-death difference, discovered David Wagner, a beauty salon owner. During a routine appointment with a regular client, he gave her a scalp massage, shampooed and styled her hair, and talked and joked with her. A few days later, Wagner received a note from her telling him that his kindness and the fun they shared that day had given her hope enough to check herself into a hospital instead of taking her own life as she had planned.

The experience shocked Wagner. What if he had been distracted, upset, or rushed instead? How many of the 10 clients he saw each day were in distress or crisis without his knowledge? He would never know. Wagner vowed from that point forward to give extra care and attention to everyone he saw and do his best to make his or her day. As it turned out, he discovered that doing so made his day.

Inspired by this experience, Wagner started talking about his simple philosophy, called Daymakers, at beauty shows around the country. He put up a website with 50 ways to be a Daymaker (

) and wrote a book promoting the idea, and so began the international Daymaker movement. Thousands of people now in various industries identify themselves in their jobs and on their business cards as "Daymakers," kids in elementary and middle schools are reading the Daymaker book, and Daymaker projects are underway, including the "Salon on Wheels," a traveling Winnebago staffed with volunteers who provide beauty care at homeless shelters and health care centers.

Wagner's personal story itself is part of the Daymaker lore. Growing up on farm in rural Minnesota, getting haircuts in the kitchen from his grandmother, Wagner entered a beauty salon for the first time at the age of 14 with a cousin. The rock 'n' roll stylists and beautiful women so impressed him that he decided he had found his calling. His father, a pipefitter, thought otherwise, but David persevered, becoming a stylist at the first Aveda salon in Minnesota. Within a few years, he had taken over Aveda's poorest performing salon and turned it around by imbuing those around him with hope, innovation, and the "daymaker" mission (before it had a name). Workers never quit, the client list kept growing, and by the time he was 23, Wagner was vice-president of a $4 million company.

Daymaking might make business sense, but it isn't about moneymaking, Wagner emphasizes. Rather, it's about creating inner wealth, giving others joy (which brings joy). And practicing the most basic spiritual aphorism: do unto others... "You have not lived a perfect day until you have done something for someone without expecting them to repay you," says Wagner, who now is the owner of 10 salon-spas serving 4,000 people a day. They are called Juut

, which, not coincidentally, is a Japanese word that means "to uplift humanity and serve others."

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