A smile to a stranger can change their day, and even their life.
Six years ago, I was living in a bigger city. Every morning, for about a month, I was walking on a nature road only for people walking, running and bicycling. It happened to be when everyone was getting through there on their way for work.
It was beautiful to me, green trees, birds singing, fresh morning air, the beauty of a river next to the path I was walking on. Still, I noticed, everybody was looking down in the ground, and looked like …unhappy? They seemed tense, with all their worries on their shoulders. Unaware of the beauty around them.
I have always liked to make people feel better, so I started smiling at everyone I passed on my morning walk. At first no one looked back at me, but I kept smiling anyway. With every smile I gave, I focused on feeling good inside of me, and sharing this in my smiles.
After one week some people started smiling back to me. I started looking at them, into their eyes, and say hello and smile to them. Like greeting someone I met every day. Which I did.
After two weeks people started looking me into my eyes and say hello to me. This made me feel even better, and they could feel it in the warmth of my smiles, and shining in my eyes.
After three weeks, while I was on my way for this wonderful nature road, I walked deep in my own thoughts. Then I hear someone saying hello to me, and I look up and I see a woman on the other side of the street smiling at me and waving her hand in greetings. I looked around me, and it was only the two of us there. I smiled back and waved my hand too, and said good morning! This simple little thing lifted my day!
After four weeks, everybody but one person smiled back to me, and most of them also said hello or good morning to me. Maybe they recognized me, the girl smiling at them every morning. It felt so good, to have helped all those wonderful people to have a better start of their day! I could feel it, the energy itself in this nature road had shifted, I got happy just by coming there. It was magical!
Next thing, I moved to a different part of the country. I forgot this whole thing, getting mixed up in everyday life.
Three years ago, I was back in this city, visiting some old friends. While I stayed close to my old apartment, I went back to this nature road for a morning walk. I didn’t think of it, but then everybody smiled at me. I smiled back, of course! What more, I saw them do the same to everyone they passed!
When I was to get back into the streets of the city, a man came running. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. When he came closer, he smiled big at me and said hello, like he knew me well! A little confused, of who this person who obviously knew me was, I said good morning and smiled back. I searched my mind, and came up blank. Then it came clear as the day, that was the guy who walked with a baby stroller and never returned my smiles or greetings. I saw him every morning for a whole month, three years ago.
He remembered me! I was amazed!