Have you ever noticed that when you give the slightest of smiles, even a hint of a smile to someone they smile back? It makes us feel better when we receive a smile irrespective of the giver being a friend or a stranger but the real beauty of a smile is that they can be given and received freely.
It’s a small gesture which costs nothing to give but improves the way people feel and act. It also lifts the spirits of the giver to see the recipients face broaden into a happy smile.
We can give smiles in the street, in lifts, as someone enters our office, on the train or bus just about everywhere. I don’t mean big cheesy grins which could terrify many, just a small hint of a smile. Try it and try it soon.
Almost hand in hand with smiles goes kindness. Kind is a word like nice, it’s considered “soft” writers are encouraged to find an alternative. He’s a kind man (or woman) doesn’t crop up often in a business conversation or description and yet we need more of it.
As with smiles, kindness makes everyone feel better about themselves and the world in general, A kind act is free to give and wonderful to receive. Kindness is harder to define than a smile, indeed giving a smile is its self an act of kindness. A small act of kindness can be to allow someone to the counter ahead of you to the store cash register, add a smile and that person will probably respond well and feel better. If a colleague looks tired or down offer to get them a coffee or glass of water.
In many ways kindness is a way of putting other people’s interest ahead of yours. A way of saying I see you and I respect you.
Respect and recognition even from a stranger lifts some deep emotion within us, it feels good, and we feel happy and perform better.
Why when we can give so much and improve our lives and the lives of others around us so freely do we not practice this more?
We can still be tough professionally, still make difficult decisions and still make a difference by smiling at and thinking of others.
So smile and be kind!
One kindness would be to let me know how it works for you