A Smile: The 1st Step for Reaching Out to the Rest of Humanity

Image“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi

I was with a few friends yesterday and encountered an interaction among them, which I’ve been seriously mulling over for the past 24 hours. (Paraphrased, of course)

Friend #1: ‘I’m working on not being sarcastic.’

Friend #2: ‘What’s wrong with sarcasm? Without it, we’d all just be awful people.’

Friend #1: ‘Or we could just be good to one another.’

Friend #2: Silence

I’ve been thinking a lot about this interaction because I have found myself on both ends of this spectrum.

Growing up, I was always the sarcastic one. Those close to me knew I had a good heart, but I never showed it much.

It took a bit of an unintentional intervention towards the end of college, to get me to finally work on my behavior towards others and to finally work on my sarcasm and negative attitude.

“If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.”  -Proverb

Although I adopted this thinking several years ago; presently, despite my never-ending posts on social media, and my general positive intentions towards others; I am still not known as someone who smiles a lot… or even as someone who is particularly warm in person.

I actually still have a tendency to be rather standoffish- a combination of my uneasiness around strangers and crowds, and a trait I cultivated to combat my uncanny ability to dominate conversations and say the entirely wrong thing.

It is then, that I find myself regularly relying on emails and social media to filter my words and have sadly developed, as my brother calls it: a fear-based propensity to ‘communicating meaningful, human things through computers’.

So, it is with these thoughts and this bit of self-reflection, that I would like to dedicate this post to those people who do not reserve their positive expression of humanity solely for display on social media.

To those of you who make the world around me, and around you, such a great place to live in.

Thank you.

Not a day goes by that I am not humbled by witnessing the beauty of humanity- in all its imperfections.

Although you may not have a reason to be kind… although you may have every reason to be an awful, vengeful, spiteful person in your interactions with others… consider following in the footsteps of these people, and choosing the path of peace.

Remember the words of Lawrence G. Lovasik:

“Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give. So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will spread sunshine in a sometimes dreary world.”

*I am truly inspired by all of you who choose the path of peace on a regular basis- although I would like to take this time to give particular thanks to Friend #1- a very dear friend, who remains an ongoing inspiration to me.

Your genuine nature is truly inspiring and you make me want to be a better person… a better, truer version of myself. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

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