I woke up later than usual last Thursday morning, realizing I had to move fast to get to an early meeting.
Looking out the window to view the deepest snowfall of the season so far, I greeted it with an audible four-letter expletive: Just another thing to slow me down, as I rushed into a heavily-scheduled workday. Driving towards town, the sun had not yet burned through the sky’s cloudiness, which just helped to accent my mind-cloudy disposition.
On my way down the hill from Hilltop Esso, four SESS students walking up the hill caught my eye. They were beaming full-faced smiles as they playfully threw quick-made snowballs at each other. It was contagious: This grumpy old man also broke into a smile and even a little laugh (not a funny laugh but a feel-good laugh), and my cloudiness was instantly replaced by joyfulness. So I want to thank those four young people. They reminded me that smiles are wonderful things. They can be good medicine, and they can be contagious. Their’s was spontaneous smiling. That’s the best kind. But we can also practice, and share, intentional smiling. Passing someone on the street, or checking out at Valu-Plus, or as we walk into a work-related early morning meeting or a school classroom, sharing an intentional smile can feed ourselves as well as others.
Thanks, kids, for the reminder. And whenever you throw a snowball, let it be mutually playful and never hostile.
Smiles, Ron Shonk