Friday, July 15, 2005

Small things

The scene: yesterday morning, on the bike path a couple of km away from my house. Two little girls - maybe 3-ish and 5-ish - are walking toward me, a few meters ahead of their Mom. I'm riding my bike to work, in my usual early-morning haze of I'm-not-up-yet thought.

What happens next: the smaller munchkin sees me approach, smiles and waves. Her sister pickes up the cue and does the same thing. I smile back, broadly, because this just doesn't happen in this day and age.

Mom sees me smiling, laughs and says hi. We all continue in our opposite directions, all in a better mood than before our paths first crossed.

The takeaway: Small things make a big difference in the trajectories of our lives.

Your turn: How would you like to influence the life of a stranger the next time you're out and about? Can something as small as a friendly smile and wave make that much of a difference?

17 comments:

Jack's Shack said...

A smile never hurts.

PureMood said...

Well... where I live EVERYONE (well, almost everyone) smile and waves at everyone else... it's a daily thing here. I speak to my neighbors everytime they are out... I wave at a car as it passes and always say hello to folks.... I'm just good like that, eh? :) Here from Michele's today.

Terri said...

Hello, Michele sent me!

Depends on where you are...in New York, if you smile, they may think you are hitting on them and blast you with pepper spray! ;) However, I live in a small town for the time being, and small communities do really appreciate nice gestures, even just a smile, but most to verbally greet you and talk to you, too.

~Cathy~ said...

Michelle sent me! :) I agree... one little smile can change your whole day!

kenju said...

Of course it makes a difference, Carmi. A smile, a thank you and/or a please is always well received!

I came to see you because I caused you to get skipped at Michele's a few minutes ago. Always nice to read your well-written posts!

Bluegrass Mama said...

Here via Michele's Meet & Greet. I agree wholeheartedly, and often smile and greet strangers I encounter. I've even been known to start a conversation on an elevator!

Dawn said...

a smile and a wave are a great start. You never know what may make a change in the way a person is feeling.

I am here via Michele

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i always smile or nod hello when i pass someone, 9 times out of 10, i get some sort of friendly acknowledgement back. i live in mississauga, not a huge city, but not a small city either.

Nic said...

Great post! I firmly believe that smiles are priceless and they are free to give away. Think about smiling at the worn looking waitress, or at the harried postal worker. You will see huge difference in the way their attitudes change.

Hi from Michele's today Carmi.

Thaleia said...

Oh yes.. a smile and a 'hello' can really make a difference.. so 'Hello Carmi' and I'm smiling :)

here via Michele's

franchini said...

I'm still here. London is a detached place generally, but since the bombs last week there has been a noticeable need for people to connect with each other more than usual- definitely more smiles in evidence, and a good thing too.

Tammy said...

Well, I work with the public and I'm here to tell you that yes, a smile can make a difference...a big difference!

Stationery Queen said...

One of my favorite things about walking in the park is the fact that everyone says hello or nods or smiles. Proves that there are more nice people than not in the world, I think. :-)

Christine said...

Absolutely! One of the things I love about rural Wyoming is how many smiles and waves you get from strangers. Just a week or so ago we decided to take an unknown dirt road just for fun, and came upon the cutest little boy (in a giant cowboy hat!) with his dad. They both started waving at us, and gestured to us to honk the horn. We honked at them, which was followed by big smiles and more waving. We all need more friendliness.

Mrs. Fun said...

when someone is kind enough to hold the door open for me, it makes my day.
and if i see a mom with a liitle one i offer to take her cart for her. I know how it is in the parking lot and small children.

Morah Mommy said...

One of the things I love most about living in London is that people are so friendly. Do you remember when we first moved here? We would go for a walk and when we would pass someone they would smile and say hello. We used to look over our shoulders to see who they were talking to. What a surprise, it was us!

Whenever I am out, I always smile and say hello.

Dean said...

I waved something at the moron who passed me on the shoulder (at 130 kmh!) this morning.

I doubt it improved his day, but I felt marginally better.