It's amazing how much someone's smile can change the course of your day. Yesterday I was really bored and so uninspired to do anything. I spent most of the morning sitting on the computer just wasting away, going from blog to video to twitter and so on. That is until I came across this video from a youtuber that I'm subscribed to. It's a simple video and at only 42 seconds long it's pretty short as well. The whole video details a guy jogging with his girlfriend who happens to be taking it slow and power walking with a very determined mindset. While she's concentrating on her set path, he doesn't want to leave her behind by jogging ahead, so he starts zigzagging around her with a giant smile on his face. At first I thought the video was edited and he made it look as if he was passing by her multiple times, but by the end I realized what was going on and it instantly put a smile on my face. Something about that glow he exerted with such a strong sense of bliss lifted me up and inspired me to go out and do something.
This provoked me to go for a walk and bring my camera along to actually take some pictures for a change. It's been a while since I had taken anything that I found particularly interesting, so the prospect of having some photos that I could actually use brought my happiness levels even higher. I decided to walk to a local park near my house with my new positive disposition, my iPod and my camera bag at my side. As I started out on my walk, I noticed something about the people I was meeting along the way. I was smiling and even saying hello as I passed by people on the sidewalk, but no one reciprocated the gesture. It doesn't surprise me all that much, but what does surprise me is that not only did no one (except an elderly couple) bother to even look at me as we passed one another, people were actually going back into their houses until I passed and avoiding contact so much that they would run over to the other side of the road. Not only that, but I even had a mother call her children closer and stare at me until I was gone as if I was going to murder her entire family. I even had a cop hassle me for no apparent reason.
The thing is, none of this was happening when other people passed one another. Some even started having full on conversations with random people, but not me. Now I know this is an elitist mentality that most of the people in this area have about the way I look, but that doesn't make it right. I'm not here to hate, in fact none of those things even faltered my resolve. I'm not only an optimist, but I also believe in the power of the smile. I think if more people believed in outwardly expressing their glee with a stranger then we can make the whole world a much more connected and happier place to live in. If everyone can put aside their judgements of one another just enough to genuinely smile at a passerby, even if they are "different" from you, I guarantee you'll leave some kind of impact on that persons day. You can plant the seed of happiness, all it takes is a smile.
~~Writing Light Across The Land~~