Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Like the ripples that are created from a pebble dropped into a lake, it's amazing what one smile can do in this life. Not just the smile that I wear, that seems to lift my own spirits, but the smiles that I give to others, in the grocery store, at the mall, in the parking lot.
Have you ever noticed the complete change in demeanor of someone who smiles? It's like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, like light that shines from their skin. Sometimes someone will come toward me with a scowl, a frown, they are so serious I wonder what on earth could be the matter. You smile at them and they smile back and suddenly the stranger becomes a friend. You see them in a totally different way. They are no longer mean and distant, but kind and understanding. The transformation is so interesting.
For the past few years I've really been working on trying to be a more open and friendly person. I find that it creates a more peaceful atmosphere around me and around others. I hold open the door for someone, I drive with patience and courtesy imagining that my friends and family are in the cars around me, I look a cashier in the eye and say thank you - and really mean it. I leave big tips.
I'd like to think that these small practices are having a ripple effect. I'd like to think that the woman I allowed to go in front of me at the store will feel a little warmth inside. That maybe it will carry over on the road while she's driving and prevent a car accident. Or the man I just waved into a parking spot when we came to it at the same time will lighten up just a little bit. That maybe he'll go home that night and have the urge to give his wife a hug.
We have enough problems in this world to contend with. If we work on being a little bit nicer to each other, I wonder what kind of wonderful place we could create.
So - that's my quest. Laugh more. Smile more. Stay calm. Try to understand instead of react.
Be the light I wish to see in this world.