What a coincidence to find an article that details the benefits of smiling at people after Maria and Mario both exhibited such behavior on our bike ride tonight. An older couple approached us as we rode down the street. I told Maria to watch out for them and as they walked past her, I heard her say “hi” to them. They smiled at her and continued towards us. When they walked by us, Mario waved and said “hi”, also. They smiled again and said “good evening” to us both. As they walked away from us, I heard the woman remark “Nice kids.”
Ahh, “nice kids.” Good to hear every once in a while…. When we stopped at the light, Maria turned around and told me how she smiled and waved at the couple that walked by her. I commended her for being so polite and sweet. Of course, Mario needed to chime in right away and inform me that he said hi to the couple, too. He added “they smiled back at me, too, mom.”
I appreciate this study. I know that I always feel better when I give a stranger a smile as I pass them – even if they don’t return the smile back. And when a stranger gives me a smile first, it usually makes me smile at the next person I see. Domino effect. It steps up my mood elevator and makes me take a step back and contemplate whether the issue I may be stewing over or anxious about is really worth it. I explain the article I read to Maria and Mario, and they both look at me and smile. The kind of smile that reminds me of some ancient buddha’s smile – a smile appreciating that I finally found some nugget of truth and good that they have known for a long time.