St. Louis (KSDK) - David Wagner has a pretty impressive life.
"I graduated high school, became a hairdresser and ended up becoming the vice president of the company I was working with at the age of 23," Wagner said.
He's always had a knack for helping people feel good about themselves, but in 1986 he changed his business card from stylist to daymaker.
"And I started passing them to my clients and they'd say daymaker and I'd say yeah I'm here to make your day and they'd say oh that's so cute," said Wagner.
It was cute for several months then one of his longtime clients came in to see him.
"I knew something was up so I treated her extra special and she sent me a letter two days later that said the reason she had come in is she wanted to look good, but the reason she wanted to look good was because she was going to commit suicide that night and she changed her mind in our half hour," Wagner explained.
That letter changed the way he looked at everyone, even strangers.
"I thought my God what if I wasn't there, I mean what if I wasn't present," said Wagner.
It also reminded him it's the little things that can make someone's day.
"Whether it's opening a door or letting someone merge into traffic," Wagner pointed out.
So he made it his mission to remind people to be kind and literally wrote the book on daymaking in 2001.
"I thought I was going to change the world. I went on a 26 city book tour, talked to millions of people, I came back and CNN was just as bad as it was when I left," Wagner added.
Then he realized his world wasn't that big.
"It depended on how I woke up with my wife, how I had breakfast with my kids and how I walked in to work that day because my world is quite small," Wagner explained.
And by doing those little things his world was better. Even more exciting is being kind is kind of infectious.
"There's a ripple that's created by what you do and how lovingly you do it. And the magic is when my world meets your world and that ripple starts affecting our communities," Wagner said.
Simple really and it could start with just a smile.
He was in town last week to speak to the 2012 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes.