A smile a day

Still exhausted from an intense workout, I walk to my car last Wednesday and find a note under the windshield wiper: Someone hit my car. I was bummed out about the dent, but it’s nice that a note is left behind. I get in touch. The warm, friendly voice on the other end of the line suddenly made me feels a whole lot better.

With a sad heart and complete disbelief I follow the events in Paris on TV Friday night. Where is humanity headed? Hatred keeps spreading and there is a constant fight over power and religion. I close my eyes and dream of a world where we are kind to each other. The word “kindness” is used all the time, but do we still actually know “HOW” to be kind?

I’m looking forward to my appointment this morning. Soon after I’m on the road I end up in a traffic jam, and it’s a bad one. My navigation shows a delay of more than an hour. My mood changes and when the car behind me is constantly tailgating, I have completely had it. I arrive at my appointment, jump out of the car and go inside. The receptionist meets me and says with a big smile, “Welcome. Coffee? I heard you were in a traffic jam?” I start to smile again. That's what kindness does to me.

On the other hand, I’m in such a hurry sometimes that I’m not always completely aware when someone is nice to me. After a busy day, I come home and my husband gives me a compliment. Two hours later, we talk about a work situation and he takes me as an example and tells me that I did not hear his compliment. Ok, I can shout out that I want more kindness, but it starts with myself to listen better to the other person. Reflection and awareness are important ingredients for a kinder world.

I'm not saying that listening and kindness will solve all problems, but I do believe that if we are kind to each other and listen to each other, something will change. Let's not just be friendly if something bad happens; let's make sure it becomes instilled in our DNA and that we actually listen. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a smile a day?

Today I dream ... tomorrow things will be different, tomorrow we will work together to live life to the fullest – no matter what happens along the way - and greet each other with a smile. And if that is hard to do sometimes, I hope you look around and listen. You might meet someone kind who puts that smile back on your face.

Sincere attention makes a positive difference

Moniek van Rheenen-Schreurs