“But your so busy changing the world, just one smile can change all of mine.” Jack Johnson
A few years ago I would ride bikes with my dear friend Holly. We would ride on the path around our local lake where many people were also riding, running, walking, rollerblading, etc. When I first started riding with her I noticed that she waved and smiled at every single person she saw. Surely, she didn’t actually know all of these people. But I noticed that these people were waving and smiling back. This intrigued me. You must remember that I used to be terribly shy. The thought of making eye contact with a complete stranger seriously freaked me out. “Why on earth is she waving at these people that she doesn’t know?” I thought to myself.
As time went on and other things in my life were forcing me to break out of my shell, I thought I would give this a try. What’s the worst that could happen? The person doesn’t smile or wave back? It’s not like my world will come crashing to a sudden halt or anything. So, I tried it. I waved and I smiled and something really crazy happened. People were waving and smiling back at me. It was almost like a drug! Having this connection with a complete stranger for a split second. I didn’t realize how powerful eye contact and smiles could be.
So, I decided to take it off the bike and into grocery stores, banks, and restaurants. You see people out and about doing their thing and you have no idea what that person is going through in their life. But the moment you smile at them, and they smile back, there is this connection, a sense of community that arises. Your smile could have turned their whole day around. Or maybe not. But again, what’s the worst that can that happen? Smiles are contagious. They are like sneezes. And they are magical. They have the ability to completely turn things around for someone.
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Mother Teresa
Perhaps every time you smile at a stranger you plant a seed and they in turn smile at someone they don’t know. This could dramatically change our world if people were to choose love. This could open the door to so much. Next time you are at the store, bank and any other public place, make a commitment to yourself to smile at strangers that pass you by. Plant those seeds of goodness. Choose love.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest complaint, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”