There is always reason to choose Joy! Amidst periods of storms, challenges, when your spirit is crushed, start with a smile. When everything seems all wrong, and you have reason to doubt, Smile.
At the time of writing this article, the state of affairs in our world is one calling for Social Distancing. How then can you smile? How can you find reason to choose joy? What do you have within you to allow those muscles on your face to pull your lips up. Yes, there you go, smile.
On Wednesday of this week I needed to smile. I was alone, isolated, locked in. Thankfully I was in need of some grocery items and a friend needed help too. I got up early that morning and made my way out to the grocery store. Upon arrival, I was grateful to find the shelves well stocked. I checked my list as I walked through the aisles. “Good morning”, I said to two ladies as they walked by. “Good morning”, was their gentle reply. Then one of the ladies, stopped and said to me, “That felt good. It is so refreshing to hear someone say good morning”. I turned and affirmed her and said, “thank you”.
That moment took me back in time. As a child I recalled my parents teaching us to be respectful to others, always acknowledge their presence and speak up. Saying “Good Morning” was one of those things that was instilled in us as children. As simple as those two words may seem the weight they carry far outweighs just words.
Customers trickled in and out of the small grocery store. “Good morning”, I continued to say to each individual that passed by. The words filled my smile which poured into my insides. Here’s the other neat thing about my two words. There was an item on my list that I didn’t know what it was or where to find it. The 2 words, give me an opportunity to reach out for help. I asked the lady that responded to my Good Morning for help. She wasn’t sure, but she didn’t stop there. She asked her friend and then the owner of the store. You see where I am going with this?
A discussion started with me in one aisle, my new found friends in the other and the other in the next. Imagine that. We all were trying to figure out what are sweet peas and did the store have any? After figuring out what it was, the response from the owner was, they did not have the item. I still had a smile. Just that brief interaction brought such a peace and joy into my morning.
I finished my shopping and went to pay. The cashier just added to an enriching morning as we also engaged in a brief conversation. No we didn’t talk about what was happening, we simple talked about the morning and how good it was. I am grateful I had funds to pay for the groceries and the opportunity to help a friend. We live in a fragile world. We are fragile beings. When things are going well, we often forget about that fact. It is not until life throws us a curve ball and we simply don’t know what to do, that we feel helpless. There is still reason to smile. We can choose joy.
The wisest man on earth said, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22). There are enough viruses, toxins, diseases, or situations around to crush one’s spirit and dry up the bones. It is easy to be drawn into what is popular or what is perceived to be the thing to do. Before we know it, we’ve created a negative pandemic. We can however choose joy. In the midst of turmoil, broken trust, and you can add to the list, here are two things to do and three things you will achieve. Stretch your lips and smile. Start each day and say “Good Morning”. Here’s what you will achieve. You will see another human being and they will see you. Without evening saying it, you will be saying “I See You”.
I missed a call from my daughter this morning as I wrote this article. On seeing the missed call, I called back. You can just imagine that for a brief moment I wondered if something was wrong. When I answered the phone her first words were, “Good Morning Daddy”. In that moment I was speechless. We both had a smile. We both shared our two words. We both saw each other.
Will you pick up the phone and say 2 words to someone today? Or walk in the aisles of the grocery store with a smile? It only takes two words to turn the world around and two people to see the difference.
Have a blessed day and let’s get into the habit of greeting someone. Sawubona
The following was inspired by the song Smile by Sidewalk Prophets and the characters presented in this article. You too can be part of this journey. Start with a smile.