You can change someone’s life with only your smile.
“After my run this evening around the seawall I proceeded to go to my regular coffee shop on the way home. After ordering my usual I noticed an elderly man sitting alone at a table who looked sad. In that instant I made it my mission to attempt to help cheer him up. I looked right at him, made eye contact and smiled. He had a shocked looked on his face as though he couldn’t believe I was smiling at him so I looked at him a second time and smiled yet again. This time he could not deny it was him that I was grinning at. I went on to start tending to my drink and then had my own surprise. He walked right up to me and said “Miss, I was so shocked that I couldn’t believe it was me who you were smiling at. Thank you so much.” He went on to tell me that he works with people all day long and has for over 40 years as the owner of a local shop, and doesn’t find most people to be very friendly. He said it was so nice to see someone who was kind to others. We continued to chat for a bit. Upon leaving he turned to me and said, “I want you to know you made my day with your beautiful smile,” to which I responded, “well, you just made my day by coming and telling me that.” The smile that formed on his face in that moment was unforgettable.
This situation was yet another reminder that kindness costs nothing and yet it’s effect is priceless. You just never know who you may touch. I will always believe that you can change the world through acts of love and compassion …and I will never stop smiling at strangers.”
The above text was taken from a Facebook post I wrote and after a large positive response, I feel compelled to write more in depth on this topic.
As an eternal optimist and life cheerleader, I like to believe that kindness is as prevalent as ever. I wake up each day with prayers of gratitude and make it my goal to impact someone else’s day in a positive way as I believe in the “one love” philosophy; that we are all brothers and sisters in a global family. I live and love to make people smile and to inspire and help as many people as I can. Some of the people who I have spoken to after showing them gestures of kindness have revealed to me that my act towards them came as a pleasant surprise, which was a big shock to me. My first thought was always, “doesn’t everyone operate in this manner? The way I was raised, all humans are is to be treated as equals, regardless of background, status or beliefs. My family also taught me the importance of giving back whenever I can. Although I want to believe that everyone has the same attitude and approach to life, it only takes a short glimpse of the news to disclose otherwise.
With the current state of our world, now more than ever is a time that we must all come together to respect, love, serve, honor, help and celebrate each other on this planet. We are in desperate need of this kind of relationship with one another and the kindness can only truly start from within. When you show yourself compassion and you fill up your internal cup of love so much that it is overflowing, being kind to others will come easily to you. Here are ten easy tips on how to illuminate others with your light and to shine some on yourself as well.
10 Free and Simple Ways to be Kind
- Smile at a stranger. This one is HUGE.
- Use the name of the store clerk/ attendant/ staff person who is helping you. If it isn’t showing on a nametag, ask them what their name is. Thank them, addressing them by their name and wish them a great day once you are finished.
- Smile and say hello to a homeless person who you see. Acknowledgement in this scenario can go a long way.
- Do something sweet for a loved one such as making them a meal, taking care of a task they usually have to do (and aren’t a fan of) or just telling them how much you appreciate having them in your life.
- Pay a compliment to a stranger. It could be something external such as what they are wearing, their smile or how in shape they look, or a little deeper like their wonderful energy or how confidently they carry themselves.
- Flex your compassion muscle. The next time someone does something that would normally annoy you, give them the benefit of the doubt. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their point of view.
- Speak with kindness. The next time you catch someone else (or yourself) using words that are headed down a negative path like gossip or judgments, try to shift and segue the conversation into something relatable that has a positive tone.
- Develop daily prayers of gratitude. Each day when you wake up thank your body and mind for all that they do for you. Kind self-talk will help you to exude sweetness in your interactions with others.
- Extend appreciation always. Send a thank you note, email or text to someone who has done something nice for you. Alternatively, send a message to a loved one wishing them a beautiful day. What you appreciate, appreciates.
- Be kind to yourself. The next time you see yourself in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and pay yourself a compliment. It can be a silent one but saying it out loud has even better effects.
There really is no reason to not be nicer to yourself and others. All humans want appreciation, acknowledgment and most importantly love. Giving these invisible gifts can be so easy with the smallest of actions. If a peaceful world is what we want to live in, then it is necessary for us to share the peace and positivity with others. We all have the choice and power to do it today. Start small …and make a huge impact.
P.S. – I appreciate you.