Catasauqua Press

Friday, October 19, 2018

A smile and acts of kindness can help you and those around you

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by SHARI NOCTOR Special to The Press in Opinion

Smile! You will make someone happy.

Seeing those pearly whites does make a difference, and smiling is very contagious. The recipient or clerk usually will smile back – even if they are grumpy at that specific moment.

In today's busy world where everything is important and there seems to be no time for anything, the littlest thing sets people off. Please take note that the way the tone of a message is received may not be the way the sender intended to deliver it. Have compassion and recognize that the tone was not directed at you. You merely were the recipient at that time. People have so much on their minds with their personal and business lives that people are so stressed out – no one seems to relax anymore or smile. So smile – and smile again. This is all that may be needed for you and others to have a brighter day!

I have some other happy tips. Go out of your way to be nice when talking with someone face to face, on the phone or while emailing. You will be perceived as a kind, nice person, and those people would want to have future conversations with you.

While at the store or work, open the door for the person behind you. You will get a weird reaction because no one does that. I have received a thank you and have seen that person do the same for someone else.

When you are on an elevator, turn around and look at the other people. This will make them feel very uncomfortable. Say something positive like, "Isn't it really nice outside?" or "Only a few more days until spring and the flowers." When people get off the elevator, say, "Have a nice day." They will think you are either nuts or a nice person!

When at a gas station, if it is not busy and there is an older person right next to you and there is a squeegee to wash the windows, ask them if it would be OK to clean their front and back windows. Again, they will look oddly at you. It will help them see better and it may be too cold for them to clean the windows themselves.

At the store, if someone only has a few items, let them go in front of you if you have a large wagon full of groceries or an arm full of clothing. The person behind would be most appreciative instead of aggravated because they have to wait for you. What is five more minutes anyway?

If you see someone who needs help with shoveling their walkways, mowing their grass or trimming their hedges, take a half hour and help. Some people have health conditions that prevent them from doing these items, do not have funds to pay someone or merely do not have anyone to help them. You will feel good helping your fellow neighbor.

When I was growing up in the '60s and '70s, everyone helped each other. People were very much involved volunteering with the community, church, schools, etc. In today's busy society, where most family units have at least two working people or multiple jobs, the "helping others" concept has gone by the wayside. Many people seem to be more self-absorbed and stressed. They truly do not see what is going on around them.

Every day, make it a point to help one person. This can be done with a simple smile or holding a door open. Make someone happy. I believe that what goes around comes around. When you need to feel good or need help, hopefully someone will make you happy. Lots of times, these small acts of kindness come from total strangers! Smile!