The Stranger’s Smile

 

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This is a post I would like to dedicate to all the people I have come across with, in many different situations, in various settings, with people from all walks of life, all of whom have contributed, from a simple act of kindness – a smile, a pleased nod of head, a single word of encouragement – just a streak of what is to become part of a more solid foundation of goodness, helping me shape my concept of humanity as a learning child, supporting my unwavering belief that humans are born with goodness in them at will.

People deal with enormous loads of stress everyday that seeing them disregarding others or being rude towards their co-workers, comrades, friends, family members, loved ones and even strangers is a sight not uncommon to many.

While it is deemed excusable for some that people can act bluntly rude to others just because they are consumed by their work and have no time to be courteous, to give way to an approaching disabled person, to lend a helping hand to a friend – or even a stranger – in need at a time when it is ultimately appreciated, to tap the next person who seemed too spent from the graveyard shift to notice that the traffic light color has changed, I would say it is still far more humbling to witness moments where people actually take the time to look around their surrounding, checking to see whether everything is in place or not.

I am a very fortunate being for having been subjected to such warmth by so many people I could remember throughout my life, that I carry such wonderful memories in my heart for as long as I can, thanking each of them for showing such kindness to some random person as I am.

Such appreciated behavior has been demonstrated while I was out queuing in a restaurant to buy dinner one night as I suddenly felt the urge to sit, to which I succumbed in mild rebellion against the long line of customers, who were probably as hungry and annoyed as I was due to the unfathomably long waiting time per crew service. I picked up my phone and plugged my headset in, numbing my environment through the blast that my music produced. I must have been out of it for quite a time because when I opened my eyes, the line was moving fast and I couldn’t pinpoint where my place was. I wasn’t even sure whether they would take me back in my previous queue without me causing ruckus. I was feeling helpless then when a middle aged woman called for my attention and guided me back with a smile so sincere that not only saved my day, but also warmed my heart because she was so considerate and kind to me.

There are a number of instances in the back of my head where strangers brought warmth in my heart through their kind actions, looking out for me even though I am not their child, saving me in the traffic zone even though they could have just shrugged me off by the side, informing me of things I should not eat even though they would have to lose a potential sale, and even things like declining to re-bond my hair, advising me to give it a rest from strong hair products when I was full set to pay them to do it.

These simple acts of kindness that might be negligible to some is what truly makes a difference in evaluating ourselves and humanity in general from time to time. These make us believe in the kindness inherent to humans even though it might contradict the extreme image that is being portrayed in today’s media.

The truth is that all humans are kind. Although it appears that this attribute has varying degrees on many different people, the fact that it is present gives us hope that people, no matter how cruel they may be, are actually capable to change for the better. They have it in themselves. We all have it in ourselves to be good people.

I want you to know that it doesn’t matter how your past situations have made you to be the “cruel” person you are right now if that is what you believe in at the moment. You can change for the better. And it is not even a real change, it is just a natural shift to the better version of yourself since you are inherently a good person. It is in our nature to look out for others, to worry for them, even though we might or might not act upon it.

Be the better you. Let us be the best version of ourselves. Start by smiling to strangers if you’re afraid that it would come out crooked. Worry not, for chances are, you won’t meet them again in the future, and it is your eyes that will do the telling anyway. Let the kindness in your heart reach out to others through your smile and it will come out as beautiful, just like the person that is in you.

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