Smile at someone

Lately I’ve been hearing about so many people practicing random acts of kindness like paying for the coffee for the person behind them in line, or even for the next ten people behind them in line. Those stories make me smile. I like that people are doing this and spreading the word about it. I caught myself wanting to do it today but then I chickened out. I all of a sudden felt shy and at the last minute didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready to break out of that comfort zone. So I found something else I could give, something free and easy. A smile.

So I decided to smile or say hi to the next 5 people I walked past. I was lucky because I am in Florida right now and people here seem to be much more inclined to smile and say hi anyway. Maybe it’s the sunshine and warm weather? Maybe lots of vitamin D makes people friendlier? Anyway I ended up saying hi to 15 people on my morning walk and they all said hi or good morning and smiled back. 15 beautiful smiles. Great way to start the day.

Back home in Toronto I might say hi to one person a week if even! Why? Why do we walk down the street so wrapped up in our own crap that we so often don’t notice the people around us and the opportunity we have for a brief connection?

You never know how a smile or a few kind words can possibly change someone’s day in a small way. After that walk I felt good, and really happy ( not only because I was walking down a sunny, palm tree lined street instead of on ice and snow in the freezing cold) I realized with each hello and each good morning I left smiling and so did the person who said it back.

Simple, easy and so often overlooked.

 That little moment of Namaste – acknowledging the light in a stranger walking down the street.

So as an experiment I’m asking you to give it a try. The next time you are out walking try actually looking at the people you walk past and smile or say hi.  Or if you go to a regular store or cafe smile at the cashier no matter whether they look happy or cranky. Just do it.Take note of how it makes you feel. Notice the expression on their face too.

Did you feel any different, even for a moment? Do you think you added a dash of good to someone else’s day with a simple good morning? Sometimes it really is just the small acts of kindness that can make a difference.

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below – let me know if you try the smile experiment or have any other ideas on small ways to make change and bring a bit of light into someone else’s day.

I think I am going to continue this smile experiment for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes.


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