Since I was a kid, I would smile to everyone. From sweet old ladies to thug-looking guys, I would acknowledge people because that act can actually make a positive impact to the point of helping shake people from their funk.
Often times when I’m in a bank or long line and people are getting antsy and leaning towards the side o P.O.dness, I engage in small talk, smile to people, make random comments or do what I can to deactivate the ticking time bomb of impatience. When I make eye contact with someone, 9/10 times I’ll flash a smile because again, small acts can make a big difference.
All of this is because I’ve seen people’s shoulder go from sagging to a little more uplifted by just smiling at them. A good morning also does wonders and a kind asking how they are even more so.
All of these actions are basically my way of telling someone, “you’re not alone, it’s Ok to smile and it’s Ok to believe that things will pass, because they will.”
A smile costs nothing yet too many people are too focused on their Candy Crushes and statuses to give a damn and although I do look at my phone more than I probably should, I still connect plenty, say good afternoon, good day, hello, how are you, have a nice day, and other such pleasantries because as the word implies, I prefer when we help make things more pleasant.
You want grumpy people, you want bad news, you want fear? Turn on the news.
If instead, you want to make a difference. Start by giving a stranger a smile, just because. No intent, no desire, no interest in how they can help you, just one human smiling to another as we briefly cross paths in our rides in life.