Hey there, everyone!
“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~Mother Teresa
Today, I’ll start with a short and sweet story. This past Tuesday, a snow storm hit the area and forced my school begin on a two-hour delay. It was also the day of one my best friend’s birthday. Throughout the school day, I devised an idea to make my friend’s birthday memorable and diverse from the routine schedule. A thought came across my mind: go pick up some yummy treats from a close-by cupcake shop to surprise her after-school when she finishes her chorus practice.
I had about an hour right after class ended to make sure that I got the perfect cupcakes and make sure they make their way back safely to campus. There’s a cupcake shop in Georgetown called “Baked & Wired” that’s only a twenty minute walk from my school. It’s the cutest cupcake and coffee place stocked with original flavors that cater to everyone’s different palates and preferences. Also, the cupcakes are mega big and worth the price. My friend had never tried one of the their cupcakes—or so I thought until she spills in the car that she actually had had one before 😉 — and I found this to be a comforting surprise on a such a cold and exhausting day.
Walking along the snowy pebble-stone streets of Georgetown to reach the shop, I found myself going down the wrong street and mistakenly taking all the incorrect turns, courtesy of my iPhone’s GPS. Frustrated and worried that my plan would be thwarted, I started speed walking along the icy sidewalk and frantically trying to remember which street it was that I had to turn on.
As I hurried to get to the shop in time, imaging what cupcake flavor my friend would like, I found myself walking by a slumped middle-aged man who held a sign that read “homeless veteran.” I offered him a smile, feeling bad that I couldn’t give him much else. He acknowledged it by smiling back and nodding his head.
About no more than five minutes later, I reached the storefront and ordered the three cupcakes I intended to purchase (the flavors were as follows: Texas Sheet Cake, Red Velvet, and Carrot Cake. All were delicious!). My friend’s rehearsal was going to end in thirty minutes at this point, so I had to hurry out of there and speed walk to school.
On my walk back, I once again encountered the smiling homeless man who sat in the same location, patiently hold his small cardboard sign. I felt bad carrying cupcakes in my hand and not being able offer him anything else. I smiled at him once more and he says to me as I walk by, “Thank you for your smile. People should do it more often.”
This little comment became glued inside my head as I crossed the street and waited for the traffic lights to change. How impactful can a smile be? What was it about his comment that made me stop and think so much? It made me reflect on a quote I had read by Mother Teresa some time before (and also have written above): “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Despite being frustrated by my phone’s poor navigation that afternoon, had I not taken those wrong streets, I would not have passed by that homeless veteran and really reflected on this simple action: smiling.
Every now and then, short stories like these make me contemplate something that I would normally forget to think about or appreciate. For me, this event pointed out how my minute actions can leave others feeling happier. I simply impart this story with you and want to let you determine whether this story had any significance on you. Since I know how touching a warm greeting makes me feel, I wanted to diverge from my usual posts and leave you with a happy story. By the way, my birthday friend ended up loving the Texas Sheet Cake flavor and says that she liked the surprise, so that’s good! 🙂
Smiling, something free and simple to do, can easily brighten someone’s day. Recently, another friend shared with me the profundity of smiling in a heart-felt letter: “When you say hi to me in the hallways, it makes my day. I know that seems silly to say, but it’s the little things.”
I hope you have a wonderful week and remember how incredible the power of a simple and kind gesture can have on those around you and the environment. Stay positive, and if you’re in the area, stay warm!
Quote of the post:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank