I thought long and hard about what to post up as the very first post on the Re:root blog. Head over full with ideas none better than the other. So, as I always do when I’m confused I turned to my best friend for advice. He simply asked me “what is it you actually want to do?” The answer was easy “help people to change their lives for the better”, “well then” ,he said smiling “write about that”.
Sounds easy enough. However there are so many things to write about, simply so many possible ways to appreciate life, to change your life or even to change the world. My mind began to lose focus again, and then I remembered something I’d seen as a child. The most simple, effective and rapid change I have ever seen in my life. And it started with a smile…….
As a child every summer my parents would send me to a Dance Academy in Liverpool for 2 weeks. We would train from monday to friday, from morning to late afternoon. By the end of the day we were exhausted. Because we lived so close I would take the train home every night. It was an hour long journey. I was usually shattered physically and mentally with the added plus that I was on an adrenaline comedown from the days dancing. The journey was always long, boring and I just wanted to sleep to get through the dullness.
One particular trip I was feeling more drained than ever. I can’t remember why. I sat on the train feeling miserable, watching the rain dribbling down the windows and the grey faces of the commuters entering and leaving the train. About halfway through the journey I looked up to check the clock and I saw this guy. He wore the same clothes, the traditional suit and smart shoes as every other commuter on the train; but instead of being hunched up over his paper, this guy was sitting up right, hands folded in his lap AND he was smiling. He wasn’t smiling at someone he was just simply sitting and smiling looking out through the train. He seemed to really be enjoying his smile.
As I looked at him, I felt better, I couldn’t help smiling too, he just seemed to be so happy. And as I sat there smiling a lady across from me began to smile. The man across from her began to smile, and another and another. I sat there and watched as the smile unfolded its way through the train, spreading its way from person to person. I don’t know to this day if anyone else noticed the smile’s journey on that train. But what I do know is that the energy of the carriage felt warmer, cosier (and that’s seriously impressive when travelling in a British Rail commuter train) and that everyone began to smile, peacefully to themselves.
Then the smiling man got off the train at his stop. That’s it I thought the smile has gone, but when I looked around me it was still there, people were still smiling, the smile had stayed and gone further into the world. The newcomers on the train slowly found the smile and shared it further. And when I left the train I took the smile with me and I have been spreading around the world ever since and now I am giving it to you.
It doesn’t always have to be the biggest things we do that change our day for the better or our lives or even for the world around us. It can be the simplest of actions, sometimes we do not know or notice that our actions affect anyone else. Yet I believe because of this one moment in my life that truly everything affects everything. I don’t think the smiling man knew the difference he made in so many people’s lives that day. He was simply smiling. No matter the situation each day we are alive it is possible to find something to smile about.
Try experimenting today to see how you can change your own experience of the day by enjoying a smile. Find something that makes you smile and carry that feeling with you throughout the day. Smile just for you. You will find that your smile will go on it’s own journey. One smile shared can change so much, the possibilities of change are infinite from the simplest of actions.
Spread your smile today, change your experience, change someone else’s experience and above all enjoy the journey.
(Don’t forget to write in the comments and say how you started your smile journey)