SMILE and You will meet friends wherever you go...
SMILE and the world SMILES back at you.
SMILE and everyone will think you are up to something.
SMILE as an act of kindness.
SMILE and pass on a little sunshine.
I smile. It truly comes naturally to me and I find myself smiling for no reason at all as I walk through my day. When I am out and about, I like to make eye contact and smile at those who pass my way so we can connect. I am always amused by how many people will be confused by my smiling at them, looking perplexed and asking, "Do I know you?" When I tell them that I don't know them and explain that I was just smiling at them, they thank me and we both end up smiling (and chuckling too). HOW FUN!
When I used to lead workshops and spoke about the power of a smile and eye contact to connect us, people would share amazing stories about shifts in the attitudes of co-workers from smiling more. One woman told that she had smiled at a co-worker as she walked through his department every morning as she entered the facility. He never once smiled back at her. This irritated her over time that he never reciprocated so she decided not to smile at him, ignoring him as she walked by. Within an hour, he came to her department and approached her asking why she didn't smile at him. He confided that her smile always brightened his day. They made a pact to smile at each other every morning no matter what.
The Dalai Lama told a story when I went to see him at IU Auditorium. There was a missionary that came to visit the village where he was living. The people were Buddhists and she was Christian. She said to him, "I love you people but you have no religion." In response to her comment, he smiled. He shared, "I smiled at her. That is compassion." He knew that she believed what she believed and could honor that not trying to convince or argue or tell her how stupid and ignorant she was being. He simply smiled. His smile brought healing into the moment as he says kindness is his religion.
PROJECT: Smile! I invite you to observe the kindess effect, the power of your smile. Experiment with this for a day, a week, a month and see how it makes you feel to connect through this joyful exchange. And as my mom always said, "Smile...it's free!" It won't cost you a thing but it can pay huge dividends to you and those new friends you meet wherever you go.