While reading through a couple blogs the other day I noticed a reoccurring topic, or rather, assumption. They were basically expressing that people a.k.a. strangers (can I just say how much I detest the word stranger. I always associate it with danger. Too bad we can’t come up with another term) are judgmental, unfriendly, and negative. I found myself suddenly feeling really sorry for these bloggers because I have to be honest; my experiences have very much been the opposite. I have had such wonderful, friendly, positive encounters with other. And I so badly wanted them to experience the same, to experience the happiness that comes from the simple exchange of smiles between strangers. Which had me wondering, how is it that my experiences differ so much from these bloggers’ experiences? Then it dawned on me that maybe it is me. Maybe it has something to do with what I put out into the world?
You get back what you put out into the world. Thus if you want to see more friendly and kind strangers than be a friendly and kind stranger. Like Gandhi said, “Be the change”. If you want the world to be better you need to be better. You need to look for the good. The next time a stranger is staring at you let your mind wander to a place of good, think…perhaps the person likes your outfit, or maybe they are simply in a daze, but do not allow your thoughts to go somewhere bad and assume the stare is one of judgment. For if your mind assumes others are judging you chances are, you guessed it, you are judging others!! Knock it off! You will NEVER find happiness that way.
So here it is the million dollar question, what is the secret to happiness? It has nothing to do with money, status, or career. The answer is rather simple; the power lies in the state of your mind! You decide how you want to interpret situations. How you want to portray yourself. How you want to react. How you want to see the world.
Here is a fun little experiment to try. The next time you go out smile the entire time. Smile at strangers and watch how many smile back. I think you will be surprised.
And thank you to all you amazing strangers out there who smile back at me, who open the door for me, engage in light conversation, and help others out, you are amazing! You make our community a better place. Please don’t stop. And please understand if one day I am exhausted or running behind and simply get caught up in my own thoughts and don’t look up and smile. Please find it in your heart to forgive me and understand. I will gladly do the same for you.
What are your thoughts? Do you tend to encounter unfriendly or friendly strangers? Would you classify yourself as friendly?