Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 2: Smile

This is part of an ongoing (non-consecutive) photo series called the 30-Day Gratitude Photo Challenge. 

Today I wanted a different approach to the 'smile' challenge. I wanted to do much more than simply taking a photo of myself smiling and posting it on the blog -- although it looks like that if you quickly scan this post.

I was born and raised in a country where people are emotionally involved with anyone they interact with. A stranger is never really just a stranger. There has to be some kind of really involved engagement: conversation (now matter how brief it is), sharing of food, and yes, smiling at everyone you run into -- regardless of how you feel.

Living in a new city made me realize that the level of interaction is different with every culture. For example, I see that I am living in a culture where people prefer to keep to themselves. Privacy is heavily guarded. Interactions with strangers are not the the norm.

I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It's just different from what I was used to. In fact, I am so reserved that this way of life fits my personality more.

However, I wanted today's challenge to have a personal impact. As I was enjoying my time with the Lord, He put in my heart to make a difference in people lives today by smiling directly at them. The kind of smile that is genuine, sincere and communicating that their brief presence in my life matters.


So I did it. I smiled at the lady who prepared my Greek salad, the cashier at the dollar store, the workers in our apartment building. I smiled at every person I interacted with. When I made phone calls, I wanted the joy of my smile to penetrate through the communication lines.

The result should not surprise you. Every single person I smiled at willingly smiled back. All phone calls were warm and friendly. They wanted to engage more. They wanted to serve more.

If I truly want to make a difference in this lonely world, I shall take advantage of opportunities of making genuine connections. Maybe I will never know it but I might have healed someone's rough day through the warmth of a smile.

2 comments :

Jonnique said...

Great post Sam!

Samantha said...

Thank you Jonnique! You guys are adorable. Our first Christmas card in the mail.