I just spent a few days with my brother-in-law Ed and nephew Nick watching my beloved Chicago Cubs play a few spring training games in Mesa, Arizona. The crowd erupted when Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers came walking through the stadium. Ronnie is a longtime Cubs fan who leads cheers that are punctuated with “Woo”. “Go, Cubs, go…woo woo!”

Born premature and abused by his mother, Ronnie “Woo Woo” was raised by his grandmother, who brought him to his first Cubs game in the late 1940s. He started “wooing” at Wrigley Field games in 1958. After the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend, Ronnie found himself homeless. From 1984 to 1990, Ronnie attended Wrigley Field games with donated tickets. His enthusiasm, friendliness, and positive energy have made him a favorite among Cubs fans. Now at the age of 81, as soon as Ronnie shows up with his contagious smile, everyone smiles and wants to have their picture taken with “Woo Woo”.

Dr. Bonnie Jungels, principal of Notre Dame Academy, is a special friend of our Top 20 team. She recently met another version of Ronnie “Woo Woo” during a trip to the post office to mail her son’s birthday gift. Seeing a line of six people and only one clerk at the counter, she considered leaving. However, music pumping from the sound system drew her attention. Soon the happy young clerk behind the counter started crooning a little “Free Fallin” right along with Tom Petty. Clearly the line of customers didn’t cause this joyful young man to worry. Smiling all the while, he took care of each person in an efficient yet caring manner, cracking a quick joke here and there yet ensuring the wait would not be any longer than it had to be.

The fifteen minutes Bonnie waited in line at the post office were the best fifteen minutes of her day. The positivity this young man exuded was contagious. She thanked him for being such a cheery person and found herself smiling throughout the rest of her day. Her smile may have led others to smile and maybe even feel a little joy as the young clerk had done for her.

Smiling has the power to change our mood and the moods of others. Humans are hardwired to mimic the expressions of others. It is scientifically proven that smiles are contagious!

One small smile or positive attitude can make a difference in the lives of many. We don’t need big changes to make a significant change in our well-being. It can start with being joyful in the little moments throughout the day. This week take time to both share a smile that may create a butterfly effect for others AND notice when others have created that joy for you. You might even want to break out in song:

“C’mon people now,
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now.”

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who pass it on after we take it on.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training