Many times we walk by others with our heads down; avoiding eye contact.
We are in a hurry.
We are busy.
We don’t care.
That used to describe me.
It wasn’t until recently that I started holding my head up when walking by strangers. I look directly at them and smile. Most times they smile back and say hello. Sometimes a conversation ensues.
In the past, I avoided people. I was probably seen as snobby. I care greatly about people, but I have been hurt many times by family and friends so I tend to withdraw and ignore them. I share very little about myself with acquaintances. I have found most people just like to talk about themselves anyways.
Tonight, as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot, I met an older woman. She was sitting in the car next to my spot. Our windows were down and as I turned to roll mine up she said how much she liked my hair style. Normally I would give a curt reply and go about my business. I thanked her and we talked for a minute before walking to the store.
I saw her once while going up and down the aisles and smiled. She was already at her car when I reached mine. She walked with a hunched back and was wiping the sides of her car with a cloth. Her cart was empty and I asked if she would like me to return it for her. She thanked me and commented that there were so few friendly people these days. We both agreed and exchanged farewells as we parted ways.
I enjoyed this encounter as well as others I have made over the last several weeks since our family became full-time travelers. These strangers have been friendly, nonjudgmental, and seem genuinely interested in who we are.
One of my goals over the next year is to teach my children about the goodness in others. They need to be cautious, but be willing to make a new friend when the opportunity arises.
Life IS too short. Stop repeating this phrase and start living it! And when you find a genuine friend remember to tell them how much you care.