Against All Hope


Today was the 48th day of Campaign Smile and both the smile campaign and the giveaway are going strong.  I made a lot of impact today that may not have been immediately noticed, visually or mentally.  Since the point of my efforts is to generate happiness and positive energy in people in general I am not specific in what I need to happen.  What I mean is if my smile causes someone to a) smile, b) smile at someone else later, c) treat another with a little more kindness, d) breathe a little easier about their struggles, or anything else then I am successful.

1. As I approached my campaign smile stop today a woman who was walking toward the door as well looked back me with a stern expression to see my bright smile.  She stared for several seconds and did not change her expression.  A second woman, moments later, was leaving the store and, likewise, stared at me for a number of seconds as I responded generously with a smile.  What either of the two was thinking as they looked at the goofy guy smiling at the whole world like he had just won the lottery I don’t know.  I remain hopeful, though, that somehow, some way those interactions helped each of them to have a better day.  Whether they were having the best day of their lives and that smile was one last cherry on top or things were skidding out of control and it helped them feel a little more hopeful for themselves and the world I think it helped.

2. When I walked in I made a strong concerted effort to do all I could to get the woman greeting shoppers as they entered to smile.  I want to make as large of an impact as possible and if I can get the person who interacts with every single shopper to smile genuinely I know she will pass it along to quite a few others.

3. As I was walking down the first aisle I heard a familiar voice behind me call my name.  I turned to find my next door neighbor hurrying past me.  We quickly exchanged smiles, handshakes and pleasantries before he rushed on by.  Now, getting a smile from my neighbor is no challenge at all since he naturally smiles all the time.  Still, it is a great smile and it is always a nice reminder to know that he is out brightening other people’s days at the same time as me.

4. On another aisle, among the people I found myself in a sort of “dance” with a cart being pushed in the same path I was taking.  The man pushing was very tall and middle-aged.  He replied to my smiling greeting with a grand smile of his own and said hi to me.

5. A lady I encountered next did not smile back at me.  However, I watched as her mouth contorted with the twitching of her upper lip.  Why she was holding it back I don’t know but her mouth obviously wanted to smile.

6. Yet another woman passed me immediately after and forced a smile to match mine.  Now, whether she was politely responding to my silent greeting or simply trying to pretend she was enjoying the day as much as me I don’t know.  What I do know is that when you start smiling, whether it is real or fake, you inevitably feel better so I know she benefitted as much as I did.

Counting the forced smile I garnered 4 more smiles today bringing the grand total to 155!  Between my campaign stops and my giveaway I know I am generating tons of happy expressions I don’t know about.
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