It’s a simple statement but is so true. The problem here is that so many of us forget this. We are always in such a rush to do something, be somewhere and see somebody that we forget the simple niceties that make life, well……. nice. We stop at the store for milk and can’t say what the cashier who served us looked like two minutes after we have left the store because we barely made eye contact. We have so much else on our minds and, these days, more often than not, have a smart phone in front of our faces so we forget to "be in the moment".
Personally, I never conduct a transaction in a store or bank while talking on my cell phone because I think that is rude so that part isn’t an issue for me. However, I have been known to conduct my business and walk away, forgetting to say thank you, because I’m so distracted by life. I’ll only realize afterward that I wasn’t as polite as I should have been. It seems that I’m so easily distractible that it takes a while for my brain to catch up sometimes. It could also be a sign of aging too……. (we won’t go there though).
Lately, I have been conducting an experiment of sorts. I have been trying to be “in the moment” when I am out and about. When I stop at the store, the bank or just in Timmies for a hot chocolate I make the conscious effort to smile, say hello, say thank you and wish the person a nice day no matter how much of a hurry I might be in. With those who I have done business with in the past, I shoot the breeze with them for a moment. When I get on the bus, I greet the driver with “bonjour” and make sure that I say “merci” as I get off.
Guess what happens. You got it; people smile back and wish me a good day too. No matter how crappy a day I – or they – might be having, this is one moment of light. A cashier who was looking bored a moment ago now has a smile on her face; a bank teller who was looking frazzled visibly relaxes. The pleasure centre of my brain take a little hit and my step is lighter as I walk away.
Every interaction that we have with others, either in person or online, affects us either short or long term. Our mood can be ruined for the day by one rude person who possibly doesn’t even realize that they are being rude because they are so wrapped up in other things at the time. On the flipside, one pleasant interaction can change your mood for the better and change your day in a good way. When somebody is nice to you, you are more likely to be extra-pleasant to the next person who crosses your path.
Perhaps this shouldn't be a little “experiment” but implemented as a full time attitude.