February 1 Hello World

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“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” Steve Maraboli

A stranger on her way to bible study in Alameda, CA once smiled and said hello to me on what was one of the worst days of my life. I can still see her face. I can’t remember her name at the moment, although we later got to know each other, but I can still see her smile. She had no idea how much I needed that smile that day.

Today I said hello with a smile to everyone. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. I said hello to people at work, whether we knew each other or not. I said hello and smiled at people on the road, at red lights. If I waved at a passenger in a car, they told the driver and the driver looked over then I waived to the driver. If I waived to the driver, they’d tell the passenger, then I’d wave to the passenger. This worked really well when there were kids in the car. Kids will waive at anybody, and they’re so happy to do it. One little girl about 4 years old, flipped me the bird totally on purpose (from her car seat)! She reminded me of myself at that age.

I said hi and smiled at the folks in line at the credit union and the grocery store. At the gym, I was on the stairmaster next to 4 or 5 other people on their stairmasters, all facing the same mirror. There is an unspoken rule that you do not look at people in the mirror in the gym, it’s creepy. I looked at people in the mirror, smiled and waved. I could tell they were uncomfortable but their politeness overruled their discomfort and they waved back.  I waved at pedestrians on the street and they waved back, probably hoping to get a ride from the nice strange lady and get out of the cold.

At the gas station, I paid for my gas at the pump. I stood next to my car and waved at the gas station attendant inside. His reaction was priceless: he opened his eyes wide, pointed at himself as if to say “Me?” I nodded yes and he blew me a kiss. Awww…….how sweet! He made my day. But I’ll probably never go back to that gas station!

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