Today while leading activities, the above quote was mentioned. I loved it… and told my oldies I needed to write it down so I remembered it. They always laugh when I write things down, only because they get it.
After reading that quote, one of my residents asked if I said hi to strangers. I couldn’t say yes. I find myself staring at my feet when I am in public and avoiding eye contact with the strangers that could be my friends. It reminded me of a little experience yesterday. After lunch in Bellevue, we were leaving the parking garage as a lady was crossing the street. She was smiling. Not just smiling, but grinning. She wasn’t wearing headphones, she wasn’t on a phone, she was just smiling. I said, “Man! She is happy to be alive. Why can’t I be that happy?” I discussed this with my residents. What stops us from smiling ALL THE TIME? We made a list. A rather long list of reasons why. I then erased it wrote the question on the bored again and asked one more time what stops us from smiling all the time. Before anyone could remake the list, one of my little old ladies called out, “Nothing!”.
How true is that? Nothing is stopping me from smiling all the time and saying hi to my future friends/strangers. Tonight on my way home I drove with a BIG smile on my face. I wasn’t listening to music, I wasn’t talking on the phone… I was just smiling. I looked to the left at a stop light to see a lady pointing at me and I waved. Mr. Rogers was right. At that moment, my red light stranger was a friend.