Ready to Exercise My Smile Muscles

Well, today was day 3 of the campaign to bring more smiles to the world.  I thought I would try a different venue for my attempts so I got up a little early.  Before I had to go to work I went to this small manmade lake with a walking trail around it.  My logic was that people there are keeping in shape and exercise so fit people are bound to be happy, right?  Wrong!  In one lap around the lake I had enough proof to the contrary to convince me that I wasn’t going to creat a lot of smiles there.  Besides, there were a limited number of people walking and I was already starting to pass people a second time.  Now, in all fairness, I might have brought some of the lack of smiles on myself by choosing to go the exact opposite way as everyone else.  There really is no rule but everyone was following the same direction, except me.  I couldn’t get many opportunities if I wasn’t facing everyone so there you are.  That being said I began by receiving a frown from an older bald gentleman.  This made me chuckle to myself still as I drew a deep breath and broadened my smile for my next encounter.  The older couple I passed next looked pretty grumpy to start with and, unfortunately, I couldn’t change that.  Hopefully, after making their peace with whatever else had them upset they’ll remember that cheerful young man.  I remain hopelessly optimistic.  After another older gentleman scowled at me I wondered if perhaps there was not shared feeling among the group of irritation with physical aches and pains from the walking and/or life itself.  In my mind I wished him better days and carried my smile onward.  The two women that I met walking together next had me hoping that the reduced age concerns would yield one or two smiles.  Neither had a grin to share, though.  Finally, another older woman, walking alone shared a warm smile and a “Good Morning.”  That was refreshing and put a little more bounce in my step.  The woman walking her small dog near the lake seemed to be in no mood for my chipper attitude.  Finally as I neared the beginning of my circle once more I smiled at a very tall, thin older man.  While he did not actually smile back he did say good morning to me.  Doesn’t count for smiles but is, no doubt, a positive reaction which is my ultimate goal.  Because I did not get as many smiles as I had hoped I took a little time to go by the Home Depot later to add to my daily total.  While the percentage of positive responses was much better the overall number of smiles was not.  I had great difficulty getting anyone to make eye contact.  Everyone was immersed in their projects I suppose.  I did have one woman, however, that mistook me for an employee.  When I smiled and corrected her she shone with a tremendously embarrassed smile as she apologized.  The only other interaction I had there was with a sales associate that returned my smile with a nod and a half salute.  Not a smile but, again, positive feedback.  Out of 11 people today 7 scowled or frowned, 2 gave me non-smile positive responses and 2 actually smiled.  With 10 total smiles that only leaves 999,990 to go!
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