Monday, May 20, 2013

Sometimes Seeing a Stranger Smile Can Make All the Difference

Today I wrote an update on Facebook: "Sometimes seeing a stranger smile for no reason makes a difference."

I was in the grocery store buying some lemons, yes some lemons. My favorite meal of four artichokes was on the stove and I realized I didn't have enough butter four my dipping sauce (very necessary)... this is one of the perks of living across the street from a grocery store - you can leave and be back in five minutes before your meal is over-done.

I was standing in line and two gentlemen were shopping near the end-cap of the isle behind me. One looked about 40. Very LA looking. Looked like a cool dude. And standing arm-in-arm beside him was a man who looked to be his brother, maybe slightly younger. The man's  brother, we'll say, had his eyes mostly shut. His head was weaving back and forth, Ray Charles style. It was difficult to say what condition this man had, but he surely had one. 

For some reason he had my full attention for about 10 seconds. As he weaved his head back and forth, every few seconds a pleasant smile came across his face. I don't know why. My first thought was that this guy really enjoys being out and about with his brother. He really seemed to be happy to be out shopping, soaking in the vibe of this store, seeing people, he seamed to be, simply put, present. His smile brought a smile to face and I envied him.

I realize these words actually may offend someone. I don't know his condition. I don't know about the things this man has and will miss out on in life. I don't make light of what the hard aspects of his life are. But there was real joy, contentment and peace on his face. And, I think he has a great gift in that.

I've had a bit of an up and down few weeks and seeing this man smile brought some peace and a smile to my own face. It was a reminder that life can be simple. There are so many things to be enjoyed, even the end-cap of a grocery store. The companionship of a friend or brother. The light on your face.

I was reminded that though we face hardships, stress, things not turning out the way we hoped... there is a simple beauty around us that is poised and ready to bring smiles if we'd just close our eyes a bit and soak it in.

Thanks stranger-dude.

May 15, 2012

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