I’m a firm believer that positivity is a key to happiness. Not the key, but a key. Everyone finds happiness in different forms. However, there is one common ground on which we can all begin to find happiness. That is being positive and smiling!
I once heard that smiling is contagious. Smiling is almost like saying hello but in a subtle way. A form of “hello” most commonly used for strangers, the cashier in the store, the mail lady or co-workers.
The other day I went for a quick grocery shop by myself! Yes, myself. You heard that right. Daddy was home and I was able to sneak out during nap time for a quick shop. I wish it was for something exciting but my family was coming over for Father’s Day and I was putting on a BBQ.
While I was looking at the veggie trays this old man started chatting to me. I couldn’t understand what he was saying but just agreed and pretended I could hear him. When he didn’t stop talking I actually stopped and asked him what he said. He went on to say that the bag of salad he had should be healthy enough for him. I again, smiled and agreed. “Yep, can’t go wrong with salad.” Okay good, my inner self thinks… keep walking he will stop talking. He didn’t. We were walking in the same direction! He went on about how he had a triple bi-pass and just got out of the hospital and can’t eat salt, carbs, etc. I said oh that’s not good… it’s hard to eat healthy all the time (as I’m walking away…trying to hint to him I’m in a rush.)
That’s when I stopped myself and thought, this old guy probably doesn’t have many people in his life and I might be the only person he has talked to today since he left the hospital. Sure, I had only 20 minutes to get my shopping done but sometimes it’s not all about you. Once I turned around to face him, he kept talking about what he can’t eat. One of the things he can’t eat is liver. He had a moose liver and had to give it away. Which was good for him, because he’s not a fan of liver. I agreed, coming from a hunting family that moose liver is disgusting. He went on to say his son got a LEH (Limited Entry Hunting, A.K.A the Draw.) this year for moose and elk. So he’s hoping his son gets some meat for the winter. I told him, he’s lucky and I hope he gets something too for his sake. We aren’t so lucky this year and will have to look settle for a generic over the counter hunting tag. But then we need to get lucky enough to see anything.
After this short conversation, I told him to have a great day and smiled goodbye. He went on his merry way and so did I. After giving him 2 minutes of my time, I like to think I changed his day for the better. There are so many lonely people in this world and if we don’t stop to acknowledge others existence, what are we here for? As a parent, that is our focal point, focusing on our families needs. So why not extend our attention to others, even strangers. That smile, wave, hello, how’s your day might just change someone’s day for the better. Everyone we talk to, once we leave that conversation, we either leave them feeling better or worse. The extent of those feelings may not be extremely high or low, but they are there either way! Think about it next time you talk to a stranger, coworker or even your spouse. How you listen, smile, actively acknowledge, or show that you are genuinely interested in them could change their day. It goes hand in hand with positivity. When we radiate positivity, whether it be in a smile or seeing the glass half full we are contagious. Have you ever smiled at someone and they did not smile back? Sure it happens sometimes, but probably 90% of the time you receive a smile in return.
Here’s to smiling! If we are going to affect everyone we come in contact with (and we do!), even as small as it may be, why not leave them a little better?