Recently, I had the good fortune to be able to travel abroad. I rather enjoyed it as it had been quite some time since I had the opportunity to travel internationally. On this trip, even though I spent most of my time working, I made the effort to shuffle around and explore the city I’m was in..even if it was just trying some local restaurants or sitting outside people-watching while drinking a nice cup of tea. Hmmmmmm…that’s rather picturesque. I wish I was doing that right now! 🙂
In any event, it is important to note that I didn’t know much of the language in the country that I was visiting. Sure I had picked up a few words, but nothing really that could help me out as I was walking around the town. What I noticed, however, was that a simple smile and laughter transcended most of the awkwardness or discomfort that I felt by not knowing the language. In fact, I had even connected with people solely because we had smiled or laughed together, usually over something very minor and that often was experienced without a single word ever spoken.
It’s interesting to note how the simple act of smiling can make a huge difference in how we relate to others – either people we know and interact with on a regular basis or just random people we pass by in life.
Can you try looking someone in the eye and smiling at them? Is this different than how you normally walk around and interact with others? How does it change your experience?