Smile Project

What is the smile project?

When was the last time you smiled at a complete stranger? Why is it such a hard gesture to make? In 2013, I decided to experiment doing just that, smile at strangers, as I walk down the streets, pedal my way along the sea wall or even wait in line for my morning tea. How many smiles would I get back? Would people even make eye contact? Would they think I’m crazy?

Read more about my smile adventures, interesting people I’ve met and thoughts I’ve had in my Smile Project Blog Series.

What’s the point?

Around the time I started this project, I remember reading an article about how unfriendly Vancouver had become. It talked about how Vancouverites were known for being anti-social, standoffish and even snobs. It went on to ask the readers about the last time they had smiled at someone in the street or sparked a conversation with a stranger in line or in the bus. I’ve always been a welcoming type of person and thankfully do not suffer from the well-known “resting bitch face” syndrome but it got me thinking… is this true? Am I doing my part in making Vancouver the friendly city it should be?  This is how, I do my part in making Vancouver a friendlier city and the world a better place – one smile at a time. Read more about my smile adventures, interesting people I’ve met and thoughts I’ve had in my Smile Project Blog Series.

Can a simple smile really make a difference?

Smiling is such a basic gesture – a simple curve up of the lips. Yet, there’s a lot of power in just a small smile.  It’s understood in all languages and in all cultures. Sometimes, that’s all someone needs to turn their day around – make a lonely person feel connected or a sad person a little happier, even for just a second. It does not cost anything but I hope it does make a difference and even gets passed on to the next person. The best part is… it turns my day around. When I smile, I slow down and enjoy the present moment finding happiness in the little things that I usually would be too busy to notice. So why not? Why not make a difference just one smile at a time?