Yesterday, as I wrapped up the fourth week of my new mission I received more proof of the positive benefits I am gaining for myself as well as those I am giving out. Day 28 of Campaign Smile was an active one, though not full of the immediately noticeable benefit of return smiles.
1. I went to pick up my niece from pre-school and took a couple of opportunities to campaign there. One mother that we passed as we were walking from the classroom was carrying a seat with another small child and smiled back at me. I could see that, between the infant she was carrying and the toddler being picked up, not to mention any other children, that she carried quite a load on her shoulders. I believe little gestures from me and any others help her keep going and stay devoted to her children when she is tired.
2. My niece stopped to say goodbye to another of the administrators at the school and a third woman stopped to hold open the door for her. As she turned to walk away and passed me waiting for my niece my smile was cheerfully returned.
3. Later in the day I made visits to the grocery store for a few things as well as two different home improvement stores. I encountered a lot of people and smiled at each. Despite great efforts on my part and being nearly hit by numerous shopping carts I didn’t get much response. Most people either stared at me or averted their eyes. One gentleman that nearly ran into me on my way out of the store even verbally excused me! I could not help but laugh to myself as I walked to the car. I still know that he, along with all the others, received some positive effects from my gestures, even if they don’t know there is a connection. The one exception to all those unresponsive souls was a lovely woman in the grocery store that had a tremendous smile that lit up her entire face.
4. My realization of personal improvement came both Sunday night and Monday night. When I returned from work on Sunday I was informed that our cable/phone/internet were not working so I called the company and had them check on things from their end with no result. After setting up a service call for Tuesday morning I remembered two things. The way our lots are set up in our neighborhood the houses but up to the right side of each lot, leaving the left side between the houses the responsibility for each of the homeowners. Well, that is the side of the house where the cable connections are mounted. I also had taken significant notice as I pulled in the drive that my neighbor to the right had apparently done yard work and left the clippings by the road for pickup. I wasn’t sure why it seemed so significant at the time but it came back to me quickly after getting off the phone with the cable company. Sure enough, I walked out with a flashlight and found several nicks in the cable, apparently from a weed whacker. I messed with it a bit and managed to get the cable to work for the evening as well as the internet to work long enough to get my blog posted and check my email. All three were working intermittently so I went out and found electrical tape patching the nicks yesterday. What I am leading to is this. Before all my campaigning I might have been angry and even gone and complained to the neighbor. However, I found myself not bothered by it and even defending him to my wife as I explained that the cable was buried in the grass for whatever reason and would have been difficult to see plus he tried to help when he taped it. Everything is back to normal now and I feel better for the proof of my becoming a better person. That brings the total to 77 smiles with only 999,923 to go.