When a stranger smiles and says hello does it mean they are confident and self-assured? We might assume so! Or, just a thought., could it possibly be that they are searching for ways to be happier? It may mean they want to create connections and community. What if the person smiling at you is one who needs to reach out to make their life better?
How many times could we have missed that connection with a parent on the school run who perhaps hasn’t slept? Or the new mum who is not sure if she’s getting it right but is so relieved to have made it out the house? What about the glamorous and immaculate looking lady whose child has just left for university or whose partner has had an affair?
We might compare ourselves to them and think we know their story, but we don’t know what really happens in other people’s lives. We only see what we want to and we can interpret this differently depending on our mood.
Kindness, empathy and resilience can lead to actions needed to grow communities.
Resilience is the old man that struggles to walk across the road to pick up his neighbour’s bin - an act that goes unnoticed by all except for him, so why do it? The intrinsic nature of this kind act enables community and is an amazing act of generosity, which in turn sow the seed for empathy and understanding and unselfishness in others.
So, just because a person smiles, it doesn’t mean they have all the answers, or are smug, or a bit odd... it could be that they are reaching out to you to create a community. You could be an important part of their journey. So if someone smiles or says hello, make the decision to enhance their life as well as yours and perhaps even start a conversation... you never know it could lead to a happier more fulfilled life for everyone.