Here's a joyful thing to do - smile...at strangers.
Last Friday, in the busy day before the snow predicted in our area, I was in the grocery store. So were a lot of other harried shoppers. It wasn't quite "frantic time" as I was there before many people had gotten out of work. Still, it was quite busy. Faces were focused, steps were hurried.
I was busy too but I made a simple decision to just be with it. I decided to yield to shopping carts, wait for slower browsers and smile. Any person I made eye contact with, I looked right in the eye and smiled at them. Not a creepy grin or smirk, not a this-is-a test-face, but a genuine, from-my-heart, I-get-that-you're-under-pressure smile.
Not remarkably, most people smiled back. You could actually see people relax. You see a face go from grim to friendly, from concerned to relieved, from rushing to present, if only for a few brief moments.
It's so easy to do this and it's such a gift. But, truth be told, the gift is more to me than to any other person. And, if you try it you'll see what I mean.
When you practice smiling at strangers, especially harried strangers, you immediately experience a positive feedback loop that makes you more joyful, more relaxed and at ease. Because, almost every time, that person's face turns from stern or serious to openly friendly and graceful. It's amazing to see how it changes a person's whole image. It's just amazing. I presume it might make them feel good but I can definitely testify that it made me feel good.
I got out of the store in probably the same amount of time I would have if I rushed. I would have gotten my errand done whether I was happy about it or not because I was there to get it done. But I can tell you that I got out of there a lot happier than I was when I went in.
Maybe some other shoppers did too. You know what they say: Smile, and the whole world smiles with you. Think about it! You can change the world with just your simple, genuine smile. If no one else's world, you can certainly change your own.