#120: What Strangers Taught Me Today
I was too. But instead of burrowing in my blanket and succumbing to debilitating sadness, I mustered all the willpower left in my system and went to the mall.
And there I discovered one quick trick to lighten up: smiling.
Not the creepy kind of smiling—just a fleeting, genuine one. :)
At first, I didn't feel any different after smiling at a couple of strangers I encountered. I was still feeling heavy, focused on the errands I have to take care of and yearning to get home as soon as I can, craving for the coziness of my bed.
But after exchanging more smiles and having brief yet kind conversations with a few people, I started feeling lighter. It felt surprisingly nice being surrounded by people.
A simple "thank you" from me after paying for drinks earned a sweet smile from a sales staff prepping for the end of her shift. An elevator operator cheerfully offered her stool and allowed me to place two cups of ice-cold lemon-orange juice on it because she saw my hands were freezing. Another sales lady was patient enough to help me choose a sunscreen (trust me, it can be an infuriating experience shopping with me because of my indecisiveness). And a security guard's tired eyes lit up when my brother and I smiled and nodded at him on our way out of the building.
This quick trip to the mall reminded me that while the bad guys make news, there are still kind people in the world.
Yes, it's easy to live in a bubble, mind our own business, and expect the worst from everyone. That's a safe way to live—sad, but safe.
The other option is to get back out there, be kind (without expecting or knowing if others will be kind too), and enjoy the whole experience.
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Hi, and thanks for reading! I’m Kishly, cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned digital marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic posts on creative living, compassionate productivity, lifelong learning, and everything else that fascinates me. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for multi-passionate young adults in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨