On one of my trips into Bath City Centre last week I got talking to a very charming woman. We had seen each other many times in passing and always said hello, each thinking we knew each other from some place.
As it turns out we didn’t know each other from any place, in particular, we had just become the smiling faces that took time out to greet each other. But once we struck up a conversation we realised that other members of our families knew each other. Amazing…
During our bus journey long conversation, I was told how lovely my smile was and how nice it was to see a smiling face around town. What a compliment and it really made my day.
And also made me realise what a smile could do on any given day; make someone feel special, make them feel valued, make them smile back perhaps for the first time that day, week or month.
You see we never know what someone is going through when we pass them on the street. We don’t know for sure if they are sad, angry, hurt, low in confidence, at a low point in life. There may be signs but no definite conclusions. But what if we gave them a 100-watt sincere smile just because we could, or a ‘good morning/afternoon’, even some eye to eye contact… What if that was all they needed to feel lifted?
The appreciation of another human being, the acknowledgement that they exist and matter, even if you do not know them (or ever will) is only one smile away. A smile is one of the easiest ways to connect with someone else and it costs you nothing in time, money or favours… and sometimes that all it takes to turn someone else’s day around.
So go about each day with a smile, even if you’re saying no to the free newspaper copy or to a street trader selling their wares, a smile and a polite ‘no thank you’ always seems to get a positive response.
Go on, try it!