Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile
It's been really hot here -- sweltering even -- and when I left work for my lunch break a few days ago, I was in a hurry, hot, and in no mood to deal with anyone. I have not been feeling well lately, to say the least. I have a recurrent cancer, which means surgeries, rounds of radiation, and chemotherapy. It seems like a never-ending cycle and leaves me feeling pretty anti-social.
As I approached the market entrance, I saw an elderly gentleman sitting near the door. Ugh, I thought, he's going to try to sell me something or ask me to sign a petition. I did not want to engage with this guy so I hurried past him and nodded kindly with a smile. He stopped me and said, "Ma'am you look very nice today." I thanked him and continued on my way, but also chuckled because I was wearing a maxi dress with my "warehouse approved" sneakers. Not my best look I have to say.
As I finished shopping, I thought this man's kindness had earned him a moment of my time. After all, he did manage to put a bright smile on my face, so if he wanted to pitch a sale or a political idea, I could at least listen to him. Right?
As I walked slowly toward him, I mentioned how hot it was and asked if he, wearing a dress shirt and tie, was melting in the heat. His response was, "You’re so pretty. Your beauty trumps any effects this horrible heat has on me." Wow. No sales pitch, no petition. He just wanted to compliment me.
Now I don't know about his being sent here by any higher power, but I do know for certain I was meant to pass this man on this day. If I had just whisked past him, avoiding eye contact, with no greeting whatsoever, I never would have heard his kind words. He made a huge impact on me.
I hope that in our hurried lives we can all slow down enough to smile and greet someone who might just be there to lift our spirits and put a huge smile on our faces.