A couple weeks ago, I walked by a man in the street. I actually see him quite often in my neighbourhood. He’s always smiling and always has something nice to say to passerby – sometimes it’s a joke, sometimes it’s a compliment. He is also usually asking for help – a bit of change if you can spare it – and for this reason, people mostly ignore him. Some days, I just smile and some days, I give him a few coins. That day, I had a toonie in my pocket and as I was giving it to him, someone made a comment that stayed with me “You care too much. People take advantage of that.”
About a year ago now, I started this blog to share my project, Smiling at Strangers. I never thought what I did was a big deal or could be of interest to people but my husband suggested I write about it. I like to write and so I thought “why not?”.
The last couple days of rain gave me a good wake up call! Don’t get me wrong I love the rain. There’s nothing better than curling up on the sofa with a good book listening to the drops tap on the windows or even going for walks with Moe cuddled up under our big umbrella. But, I also happen to love summer and all the fun things I get to do when the sun is shining – reading a book at the beach, going for long bike rides, eating ice cream (only to cool off of course!) . This is Vancouver friends and the last couple rainy days made me think, I really need to make the most of this summer because the beautiful sunshine will not last. Too many of them have passed me by before but this Summer, I’m going to enjoy the ride!
I often wonder what makes people happy. I’m 100% sure it’s not money but then what is it? Success, accomplishments, experience, love, relationships, mindfulness? I actually had a good discussion about that with a friend this weekend and I’ve continued thinking about it over the last few days. I think what it comes down to for me is mindfulness and relationships. I find that when I am surrounded by the ones I love and make a mindful choice to enjoy each moment I share with them, that’s when I am the happiest.
When I started my smile project, I never imagined it would turn into a blog or that I would ever really share my story. It was just a way for me to start making a difference in my community, even a small one.
Have you ever crossed someone in the street and noticed how happy they looked? What keeps them smiling each and every day? What is it that brings them so much joy?
Yesterday as I was walking down the street, I saw these words in the shop window. And then, a little further, a few more words of advice from my local coffee shop.
Coincidence? Maybe but I like to things these little moments that make me smile through the day catch my attention for a reason. And so I got thinking…