Joy In The Trenches

Today was quite a day on the smile campaign.  This is day 11 of my journey to get 1 million people to smile and it was a challenge the whole time.  I have no doubt that I helped a lot in cheering people and spreading goodwill.  However, immediate proof of such was not in great abundance. 

1. At lunch I stopped at a convenience store to pick up some things.  At the side of the building there was a group of men from a lawn care company resting in the shade and having their lunch.  I shined my best smile toward them, hoping to lift their spirits.  They all looked like they were literally melting into the grass on which they sat.  I received little more than blank stares in return for my effort so I followed the smile with a friendly greeting and asked them how they were.  This produced a couple of brief greetings and a few more grunts.  I made a point of wishing them well as I left the store as well.  I was granted some slightly expanded replies and it told me that they appreciated my earlier efforts.

2. I had very little luck engaging other shoppers inside the store.  Still, the young man running the register was very cheerful and traded smiles with me readily.

3. Later, I visited a strip mall and worked my way through a number of the stores campaigning.  In Bed Bath & Beyond I encountered an older man whose face drew noticeably upward in response to my smile.  It did not, however, reach the point of smile.  Even though he didn’t make it I obviously made an impact.

4. Another gentleman was seated near the front of the store.  He did not smile either but he did give me a wave of acknowledgement which is very positive.  Maybe I inspired to initiate the contact with the next person.  It might very well be a chain of positive emotions.

5. While I was in the store two different associates greeted me and seemed helpful though neither smiled.  They must have both been very busy and did not feel they had the time to smile, I guess.  Hopefully, they were encouraged to continue being considerate and helpful after our interaction.

6. When I entered SteinMart my smile was greeted with a huge, generous smile from the woman running the register near the door.

7. Traffic in all the stores was very light which left me limited opportunities to conduct my smile campaign.  I only found one other person in SteinMart to smile toward.  That man only grimaced back at me.  Maybe he’ll remember the smile later and feel a little better.

8. The last store I visited was Petco.  The only person I was able to make eye contact with there was a shorter girl who frowned and looked down.  I hope things felt better for her later on.

Today, I saw plenty of reasons for trying to spread cheer in the world, received some positive, non-smiling results and even created 2 smiles to show immediate results.  When I count Jason’s comment from yesterday to my blog about making him smile that brings the total to 39.  A scant 999,961 smiles is all that remains
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