Tuesday, October 5, 2010


When was the last time you noticed the cleaners in your office at the end of the day? Or the janitors in the malls cleaning up the food court? How about the little old lady that sits in the coffee shop alone weekly? Maybe even the student that sits in the back of the class quiet and alone? If you noticed him/her...did you smile? Say hello?

While getting ready to leave the office last week, the cleaning lady came around with her head down (as usual) and did her rounds. When she passed my desk, i noticed she looked a little sad. More than usual. I try my best to acknowledge the ladies when they come by and there is the odd time it's a man instead of a lady. I don't just say hello. I actually engage in conversations with them as well. May not be long ones, but i do.

On this particular day, the woman (don't even know her name) did not say hello. She usually smiles, greets me and sometimes stops for a chat. She is a cute older Spanish lady. Kind of reminds me of my mother. We converse in her language and sometimes even in mine. She speaks both Spanish and Portuguese. As she passed my desk, i said "Ola senora" and she looked up and said "hello" I asked "How is your daughter doing?" She was surprised i asked and answered with a big smile "she is great. She is coming to visit me next month. The papers went through" I was so happy to hear this and answered "Good i told you. God will always make a way when he sees our heart" I could see the joy in her heart and thought i even saw her eyes watering. "I'm so happy you remembered my daughter. You always so nice to me and you so pretty all the time" Her English was poor but i GOT IT! Little did she know i was also having a bad day and her words were like sweet candy to my soul.

Although i may not have said much and they were only a few words, to her, it was more than saying 100 words.

At that very moment when i looked into her eyes i remembered that unlike her, no matter what, i had a great paying job working for the city, amazing co-workers and a COOL boss. My kids were at home waiting for me. My immediate family lives close by....and i do not have to question "when will i see my babies again?" The pain i saw in her eyes brought me back to reality within seconds. I said to my inner self "Liz, it's never that bad. There are people out here in dying pain, homeless, loveless, and hungry"
Moments later, i totally forgot why i was even upset.

I had to remind myself that just because somebody is not smiling, that has nothing to do with me/you. That woman/man may have lost a loved one. They may have have been up all night with a crying baby. Maybe they have unpaid bills. No money. Her husband may have walked out on her. Her child may have passed away. She may be a single mother of four. STOP and SMILE. Ask her/him how she/he is doing? Tell someone they are beautiful. Stop trying to look as mean as they do. This person is probably staring right at you without even seeing you! Just hope that your smile is contagious enough that you may have just blessed her instead of hindering her.

After all we are all facing our own battles. But a smile will lighten up our journey for both you and them.

My grandma use to say "Lizabet (Elizabeth) smile at the world and the world will smile back"

Scientists have said that smiling affects how we speak, to the point that listeners can identify the type of smile based on sound alone.

Remember a SMILE confuses an approaching FROWN ;-)))))

Love you all and make sure when i see you, you are smiling lol.

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