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People I Do Not Know Who Make Me Smile

Posted 12/10/2020

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay I am generally a happy person. I like people and I like life. I smile at strangers and laugh when I hear children giggle. I try to discover the joy in everyday things and look for the good in most situations. I think you could say that I am pretty cheerful. However, there are certainly times when I am not in a good mood. There are times when I am focused on troubling thoughts and forget to see the positive. 

This has been especially true over the past few months. Covid-19 has altered the world and has changed the way we work, shop, visit, and play. With these changes come worry about the health of ourselves and our loved ones, and concern over the future. The Covid-19 situation is serious, and the loss of life, jobs, school, and freedom is very real, but this means that we need to look even harder for those things that cheer us up.

I have an awesome family, and amazing friends. I have been fortunate to have fantastic co-workers. These people never fail to cheer me up when I am sad and are beacons of light when things seem dark. I have come to rely on them to help me find joy in what seems like joyless situations. I am profoundly grateful for my core group.

But today I want to bring attention to another group, and these are people whom I do not actually know but see on a fairly regular basis. There are several people whom I have never met, whose names I do not know, who make me smile when I see them. They are people who just have a special something that draws people to them. They do not know me, they do not know that they make me smile, but they deserve some appreciation. I would like to tell you about a few of them. I have assigned them random names just to make reading easier.

Although I am no longer working outside the home, I still think about a co-worker I recently had. There were hundreds of employees in my building, so there were many people whom I had never met, but there was one person who always brightened my day. I am calling him Josef. Josef was a hard worker. He was always rushing about to put in a good day’s work. His job was not glamourous or easy, but he was never without a smile. Josef acknowledged every person who crossed his path. His infamous greeting was ‘Hello, my friend!! Good to see you!’. If you followed him for any length of time, you would hear many cheerful replies. It was a joy for any of us to see Josef approaching as you knew your spirit was about to be lifted. In this man’s presence, you felt special and important. Josef genuinely enjoyed each interaction and made every day much more enjoyable to every person he saw. I miss seeing my friend who I didn’t know, but I want to thank you, Josef, for bringing a brightness to my work world.

We walk a lot in my neighborhood. We walk our dogs through the nearby park two, three, or even four times every day. We have done this since we moved here over three years ago. We can also see the playground from our kitchen window, and we have come to look forward to seeing a girl that I will call Ava. Ava loves to swing; I mean really loves to swing. We see her multiple times each day on the same swing, pumping extra hard to swing at the equipment’s maximum arc, and she will do this for an hour or more at a time. Ava will come in the heat of summer, during a rainstorm, or even on a very cold winter day. She comes with all necessary items including her cell phone, ear buds and water bottle. Although we have never had a conversation, we know her, and she knows us. She has only smiled at me once when we passed on the path; me leaving the park, and her coming. She has only spoken one time, wishing my husband and son a ‘Happy New Year’. We are sad when we have not seen Ava for a few days, and we always tell each other when we see her again. Not only does seeing Ava bring a smile to my face, but it also makes me feel like all is right with the world. Even when my life seems a little upside down, knowing Ava is swinging gives me comfort that some things are as they should be. Thank you, Ava, for bringing a sense of constancy to my life.

There is a man in my community whom I see maybe once or twice each month. If I am lucky, he will cross my path more often. I will give him the name Jason. The first time I saw Jason, I initially thought that something may have been wrong. He was walking down the street waving his arms and moving about enough to draw attention. After watching him for a bit, I realized that he was dancing. He had his earphones in and was dancing down the sidewalk; rocking out and not caring what anyone thought. He looked happy and free and I was jealous of how much he seemed to be enjoying himself. I found out later that he is well known in the community. He is frequently seen travelling around the area and is always bopping about. People comment on seeing Jason and talk about how he has made their day. It is always heartwarming to see him. The last time I saw Jason, he was waiting for a crossing light and singing into a banana. How fun! I often think about how freeing it would be to worry less about what other people might think and just let yourself move to the music! Thank you, Jason, for reminding me that it is okay for me to just be me.

This is only a small sample of the people I do not know who make me smile. There are so many special people like Josef, Ava, and Jason that we meet unexpectedly, but we need to pay attention so we can see them. Try to keep your eyes open. And let us also strive to be those people. Smile at the strangers you see often, wave to the neighbours whose names you do not know and greet those people with a friendly ‘Hello my friend! Good to see you!’. We can make our little part of the world a cheerier place!


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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