Changing someone’s day for the better is a surprisingly easy thing to do. I’ve had my entire day shifted because someone at the grocery store struck up a fun conversation (my latest conversation was with a British man about skiing). It’s pretty amazing the difference one person can make in the course of your day. There have been many times where I have been having an off day, and then someone does something unexpected and my whole outlook shifts. It could be something as simple as a compliment on what I’m wearing, or letting me go first in line at the grocery store. And perhaps most importantly – something as simple as a smile.
I worked in food service for many years, and one of my favorite things to do to keep from getting too bored was to make a connection with the customer and brighten their day. It’s amazing seeing the change in people when you really look at them and see the beauty of who they are. This doesn’t take a lot of effort – just a genuine smile will do. I find it to be such a wonderful experience when I’m interacting with someone and I can see their mood shift right before my eyes by just some simple comments or questions. This gives me just as much joy as I give them.
There have been many instances where I had been having a bad day and someone who I met made a comment or struck up a conversation full of energy and life and lifted my spirits. I always leave those interactions thinking how wonderful people are, and wondering how many other people’s days were brightened because of that one person. And when that one person brightens someone’s day, it then creates a ripple effect, giving more happiness and joy than could have ever been intended or expected. It shows just how big of an impact one person can have.
I believe all people are inherently good, which I know is sometimes hard to remember. It’s hard for me when I’m stuck in LA traffic and have been cut off and almost killed by a dozen people who all seem to think that their lives are more important than mine (now I’m ranting…). And when this happens, let me tell you, it’s incredibly easy to think wow, people suck! (One of my less than positive phrases). But I know that this isn’t true. There are a lot of things that could have made that person angry or upset that day. And, what if you happen to have a face to face interaction with someone having a bad day? You could change their mood, thus changing the moods of all the people they would have interacted negatively with (like the people driving around them, perhaps).
Long story short, a smile can go a long way. It doesn’t take much, and it acutally makes you a lot happier in the process. I once read that the simple act of smiling can get you into a better mood. You don’t even have to be happy about anything, just smiling sends signals to your brain that you are happy – sort of a reverse effect.
So, maybe the next time you’re having a good day and you need to interact with someone, try spreading your happiness to them – you never know how far the ripple effect of what you do will go! I know I’ve said it, and I’ve heard others say it, that when someone does something nice for them, their faith in humanity is restored. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t ever have to restore this faith?) But since often we do, let’s try to do it as much as we can!
What is your favorite memory about someone brightening your day? Was it something small like a smile, or something big like paying for your meal or returning your wallet? Let me know in the comments section!
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Pat ToveyAug 4, 2016 6:10 am
Your picture is again right here in front of me, decorating my computer along with Robert’s, David’s, Jace’s, Tif’s, and Davis’s, each picture a joy to see each day … and … just like your writing up above, I have always loved not only your pictures, but, very much your writing! As I said before, it is SO GOOD REMEMBERING you lifting my delightful Jan’s heart so many times and ways. Like you, she was naturally a beautiful woman of gaiety. THANK YOU for helping her keep her joyful nature with her most of the time. You ARE “a woman of happiness” for all!
New Equations music and many loving leaders of kindness is wonderful to have in my life!