I am one of those people who smiles at strangers in the street. I have been told countless times that a woman should not at all smile at strangers for who knows which one might be a creep. And yet i can not forsake my practice. it is one of those things which provides me immense satisfaction. It actually makes me feel that I made a small difference in the world.
You would ask how can smiling at strangers make a difference in this world? Well it does. Just imagine having a hard day at work, where you committed a mistake and nobody is ready to talk to you politely. Don’t you just long for someone who would forget that you made a mistake and just smile at you for once?
I smile at little kids, sometimes wave at them too. I smile at vendors who stand in chilling winters and burning summers selling fruits and vegetables. I smile at daily wage workers and maids who leave their homes early in the morning so that they can clean ours. It is my way of telling them that they are appreciated and most of the time I get a smile back. They acknowledge my little gesture and then we just move on with our lives.
My mother taught me that anyone and everyone in this world deserves respect and kindness and that kindness is what people always remember. I recently took an auto to my office and received compliments from the driver because all I did was smile at him and talk to him like I talk to all elders. He was touched and said that most of the time he gets passengers who treat him like muck but sometimes he also meets people like me and his faith is humanity is restored. I told this not to brag and to be honest I am not a harbinger of humanity and kindness. But this incident cemented my faith in the fact that a simple genuine smile can make not just your own day but lightens up the mood of others too. It can often prove to be the support, a ray of hope for people who might be having a hard time in their lives.
So please smile at strangers, children, old ladies and everyone. you never know whose life might be touched by your little gesture of kindness.