As I journey into introspection..."When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are then challenged to change ourselves."


Friday, November 8, 2013

What's In A Smile?

Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
Every morning I wake up, I remind myself that today is a new day, filled with new possibilities and promises!  I look in the mirror and I tell myself to smile.  I tell myself that no matter how rough the day gets, a positive outlook will see me through!  I remind myself to do my darnedest to treat others the way I want to be treated.  And smile…that’s important to me.  Few things trump a warm sincere smile.


True story:  Some mornings, I stop at this little spot for breakfast on my way to work.  This morning as I stood in line--humming along to Bill Withers' Lovely Day (I listen to that song EVERY MORNING)--I watched as the gentleman ahead of me rushed out of the store as if he was 'the last late person,' nearly knocking over the customer who was coming in.  Per chance, as he turned to apologize, he looked at me, smiled and exited.  It seemed a tad unusual to me at the moment because I had noted, somewhat with lassitude, that the hurried state he had been in made it seemingly unlikely that he would notice anything/anyone else around him.
As I left the store, however, the same man was standing next to his car
in the parking lot with the driver's door opened.  
I thought, "Well, that's odd."  
My mind immediately starts analyzing possible reasons he would have to just stand there...his car won't start...he forgot something in the store...Oh my God, I hope he's not a kidnapper!
I began to quicken my steps.  As I approached my vehicle he calls out to me, 
"Pardon me, ma'am?" 
"Yes?" I asked in reply while opening the door of my vehicle.
"You have a very pretty smile."
He got in his vehicle and sped of -- again, as if he was 'the last late person!'

Why did he do that?  Clearly he had more pressing matters to tend to.

I found myself more confused by his action than I was flattered.  Not because I don’t adore compliments—because I do!  But this one actually got me to thinking about how we look at others and in an instant, and on an inkling, we instinctively cast our filthy little shrouds of judgment.  Case in point; when I first noted that man this morning hurrying out of the store I thought, 'You late by your own account and every one in your way get run over.' [<--Bahamian English ;)]  Without even the slightest thought, I decided that he was a tardy and self centered individual.  The who-where-when-why-and-how of his hurriedness had not even crossed my mind in the slightest as I focused on setting the stage for my own lovely day.  I felt a smidgen of guilt after realizing that I impulsively assumed the worst of this man--for reasons unknown--after he had evidently--for reasons unknown--waited patiently for me to saunter out, just so that he can pay me a compliment.

Well, after some consideration I realize that this morning, a kind word from a complete stranger was no more than a proverbial ‘snap on the forehead’ that, evidently, the universe felt I really needed!

Truth is: Things just aren't always as they seem...

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