Monday, August 29, 2011

"You dropped something.... your smile."

Be kind for everyone you meet is facing a great battle ~ Plato
We think about ourselves all day long. What to wear, what to eat, who we would like to see today, who we would rather not see, what we want, what we need. . . how often do you look at someone else and think of what they might need? Some of us may not have much to give others, but we all have kindness. Sure there are days that the kids wake up fighting, the dog pukes, I forget I need gas on the way to work and am late... I do not feel kind at all, but the guy at the gas station who says good morning didn't make all that happen to me. In fact is very possible he walked to work with holes in his socks, has no kids or dogs to love him, and a sick mother at home that he is working to care for. I don't know. I'll never know. But I could smile instead of snarl when he speaks to me. It might make a difference. And he might be nice to the next person who's situation is even worse. . . and so on and so on.

I realize this isn't a new concept. I haven't just told you some profound new idea that could change the world! We know to be nice, we just forget. I suppose I should only be speaking for myself, but I doubt I'm alone here. Life gets to us and we take it out on the world. And in that one moment when the coffee stain on my shirt is so aggravating I forget to look around and see the suffering that others around me may be going through, I miss an amazing opportunity. The opportunity to brighten someones day possibly. It's a simple gift. A gift that costs nothing and can be given readily without really any effort.

My first semester in college, I was away from home and not very happy. While walking down to get my mail one day, probably hoping to find some great gift in that little bitty lock box, I passed a group of people I didn't know. One of the guys in the group looked at me and said "You dropped something." I turned to look behind me, there was nothing there. I looked back at him, confused. He then said "Your smile." I will never forget that as long as I live. And it changed my day, maybe even changed me. And he has no idea, he was just being nice. I hope that at some point in my life I give the same to someone else.

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