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.
In fact, it was hard at first and I could have easily given up. A lot of people weren’t quite sure what to do with my smiles – do I smile back? does she want something? do I know her? So more often than not people would look away and pretend like nothing happened.
Instead of focusing on that majority, I celebrated the small successes – getting a smile back from someone after trying 5 mornings in a row, someone recognizing me on my way to work and smiling first. Once, as we were walking around our neighbourhood, a man smiled at me in such a warm way that Moe asked me if i knew him. No I did not know him but he was one of my morning smilers. He biked the opposite direction from me each morning and I had smiled at him for a few weeks until finally I got a smile back. What a great feeling! I had finally made a connection! Since then, we smile at each other every morning . I don’t know his name, where he comes from or where he bikes to but I know that each morning, he lights up and smiles when we cross path. It makes my day a little brighter and hopefully his too.
It’s not world changing; I did not win any awards but it was a little success. A small thing to focus on as I continued my bigger project to make a bigger difference.
Starting something, anything, can be daunting and so sometimes it’s a matter of starting somewhere, anywhere.Don’t get too caught up in big lofty goals and instead focus on the small successes.