You wouldn't think that a smile could make a difference, but it does. Well, 95% of the time anyway. There are those grouchy people...
When you enter a store, or walk by another person, and they just look as though the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Maybe it is. We don't know. We just see them as another person, walking in the same direction. And then, because you've been gawking at them. They feel your presence and look at you. In your head, you can say, think as you like, for instance, "Yes, I'm looking at you." But on the outside, you just smile. A look of, I don't know, a cross between, "Huh?" and "What the fuck are you looking at?" crosses their faces and then the most magical thing happens, they smile back.
The reaction on their faces makes me wonder, what has gone wrong with the world when smiling at another human being has become something out of the ordinary.
I'm in the process of raising two boys. I'm a little old school, so I want my boys to be gentleman. Open doors for people, offer assistance to old ladies crossing the road... you get the idea, and to teach you must do.
Even when my children are not with me, I open doors for people, no matter their age, I'm already standing there, and it will only take a moment of my time to halt and hold the door to let another pass through. I do this out of kindness, respect. I don't care for anything in return, oh, wait, that's a lie. I require a smile or a nod in greeting, perhaps even a thank you. And yet, these things in the town in which I live, seem to be looked at as a strange thing.
One day, an elderly lady was being smacked at by the rigid wind that came whipping out of nowhere. I had made it to the door first, and stepped aside to let her through. She looked at me with wide eyes, hugged her purse closer to her middle and snarled at me. In my head, I thought, "What the fuck, lady." But out my mouth came, "After you, it's cold out there today." And I smiled. She hurried away as though any minute I planned on knocking her down and running off with her purse.
She in general, didn't make me mad. Okay, maybe she did a little. Let's be honest here, in my head, I called her a bitch. But, who am I to judge you know. Maybe in her life, somebody did good by her and than turned around and stabbed her in the back. It's not like that doesn't happen. It happens way too often.
But, she isn't the only one. On a different day, similar situation, same town, different person, I held the door. Another lady, closer to my own age, her hands were full and she was juggling a toddler. I held the door. Smiled. She practically dropped her bags to hold her child tighter. All I could think was, Ugh, God, Lady, I don't want your child. I can hardly handle my own! But, I smiled anyway and went about my merry way.
I understand the uncertainty of people. I really do. I'm technically a reclusive person by nature and very skeptical, paranoid and often times skittish. I jump at loud noises and find keeping eye contact with people really hard somedays. But I have manners and I'm kind. If someone holds the door for me, I say thank you and I smile. It's not hard. And it takes no effort on my part at all.
I guess, the purpose of this post today, is to ask people to smile more and be kind. Nobodies asking you to give them a free car or hand outs of any kind, just a general kindness and respect for other people.
What is so darn wrong with that???