There are many places in life that you cannot get to without a smile. Namely, people's hearts and minds. I picked up a saying awhile back, 'Smile when you feel like frowning, laugh when you feel like crying.'. I'm not sure who I picked it up from, but it helps. In our down and out moments doing the opposite of what we feel like can do a world of good.
Smiles are also contagious. You will open more doors in life with a sincere smile and looking people in the eyes, then you can being cleaver. I am reminded of a story I heard about Mrs. Gretchen and Mrs. Smith.
Mrs. Gretchen and Mrs. Smith went to the same church and attended the ladies brunch together on the first Saturday of the month. Mrs. Smith never took a liking to Mrs. Gretchen, and didn't know why. She would smile at her, and Mrs. Gretchen would scowl back. She would ask her how her week went, Mrs. Gretchen would give short answers with a nasty tone that made Mrs. Smith feel sorry for even asking. And so after a while Mrs. Smith just accepted the fact that Mrs. Gretchen didn't like her. And that's the way it went for a long time.
Then one day Mrs. Smith got to thinking about it again, and it made her sad and angry. Sad that they didn't like each other and angry that Mrs. Gretchen never gave her a chance. So Mrs. Smith started taking ingredients out of her cupboards. She mixed up the dough for the pie crust, thinking about all the times she had smiled at Mrs. Gretchen and not gotten a smile back. She boiled the pudding on the stove thinking about how they always seem to sit at different tables during brunch. She whipped up the meringue thinking how she always set so far away from Mrs. Gretchen during church. Then when her perfect lemon meringue pie was done, she looked down at her feet and said "OK, start walking."
With her stomach in knots, she started down the street. Wanting a million times to turn around and go home, she crossed the tracks. Then she looked around at this run down neighborhood. No color, no kids playing, no sprinklers, all browns and greys. And she felt a little sad. Feeling about faint, she knocked on Mrs. Gretchen's door. "What do you want?!" was the answer she got. "I made you a pie and would like to share a piece with you." Mrs. Smith replied. They went in and shared that pie, and coffee, and it wasn't that they miraculously got along from that day to this, but it slowly got better. And now they are friends, not best friends, but friends nonetheless.
It's not a miracle to be nice to people, but it can be difficult. Smile. Smile. Smile. It will help. And when it seems that someone hates you and you feel like hating them in return. Do something extra nice for them. You may not be best friends after that. But it will lessen the anger and after a while, the anger will be gone.
Have a Blessed Day,