I can’t believe it is already day 12 of Campaign Smile. Time sure flies on the campaign trail. I made a campaign stop at a local grocery store today to give out smiles and observe their impact on the other shoppers.
1. I caught the eye of a middle age man in the produce area. He was diligently choosing just the right head of lettuce and showed little response to my visual greeting. He did not frown or smile. He looked rather tired like it was the end of a rather long day so I figured the effect was just going to take a while to sink in. I don’t know about you but I have felt that way at times, as if you have to stop and really consider things around you before you can experience them personally. Most of the time we all decide instantly what we give the power to make us feel good and what we give the power to make us feel bad. When we are tired, though, sometimes the reaction is delayed. We should appreciate that lag and let it give us the opportunity to let everything have a positive impact. It is our choice, after all.
2. I passed an employee whose attire told me he was a manager. He seemed a little perplexed by my friendly smile at first but finally yielded and smiled back at me. That is bound to help not only him but those that work for him and the customers he interacts after me.
3. A young man that I passed did not change his facial expression he inquired as to how I was doing. That was positive, I thought. Even when we say things like that and don’t really want an honest answer we are still making a human connection.
4. A woman in the same area as that young man simply frowned when I smiled. That told me that a genuine smile was something you could really use at that point so I am glad I was there. I sure wish I could know the details of how things improved for her afterwards but just my belief that they did is still comforting.
5. I met a pair of women soon after that. The younger of the two was stepping out of the aisle and pulled her lips together when I smiled at her. That happens when someone fights against the instinct to smile back. It sure makes the face twist oddly. Seeing her holding one or two things and thinking she was shopping alone I began to pass between her and the end of the aisle she had just exited only to nearly collide with her mother and the shopping cart. I smiled as we were all startled and thinking we were at fault. Her mother returned my smile with one that seemed to shine with its own light.
6. I chuckled and moved on, secure in the knowledge that I had lightened both their moods, no matter how good they felt before. A middle-age man with large glasses turned from my smile and looked down. Maybe it was out of self-consciousness or just shyness but I am sure whichever it was it was overshadowed by the increased happiness.
7. As I was headed to the door I smiled at one more young woman. She stared almost right through me blankly. She looked pale and a little nauseous so I don’t think she was quite herself. She may never realize how or why she started feeling a little better right then if she didn’t remember my smile. As long is it helped that is what matters.