Sunday, March 04, 2012

Kindness Chronicles - March 4, 2012

My very first post of my monthly Kindness Chronicles was supposed to be today … and I almost forgot about it!  Well, I had made a few notes this past week to think about, so I’ll go ahead with the post, albeit a little bit late.

One of my favorite public activities has always been to see if I could make someone smile if they were looking grumpy.  It doesn’t always work, but it’s surprising how many times it does.

I first started doing this about 20 or 30 years ago, in my car.  I’d make it a point to catch the eye of an oncoming driver (passing in the opposite direction … I didn’t want any follow-ups or someone thinking I was flirting).  I’d smile or even wave.  Sometimes they would wave back, and sometimes look a little confused … “Do I know her?”  Nevertheless, it’s pretty rare that the person wouldn’t respond at all.  It became kind of a game for me.

Later I started doing it with people on the street.  That takes a bit more courage, and I’m always mindful of my personal safety, but I’ve never had a negative or adverse reaction from anyone.  (Once a construction worker thought I was flirting and yelled something to impress his friends … but it was broad daylight, I was in a crowd, and I just pretended not to hear, smiled, and walked on.)  Every other experience has always been positive.

I do think that people are so rushed and preoccupied that they are startled when a stranger smiles at them.  I know that when it happens to me, it kind of makes my day, and so I enjoy passing it along.

I love what fiber-artist Lyric Kinard has started with her Kindness Chronicles, and I wanted to join in, and try to make the world … or at least my little corner of it … a bit nicer place.  So I hope to keep up the monthly post (first Sunday of the month) for my own sake, and hope that you will join us too.  It’s already making me more “mindful” to be kind to others.


  1. Thanks for posting. I smile at everyone; say 'Hi' to most. Sometimes it takes a bit more to get a smile in return. However, it sure is FUN to draw a smile out of a curmugeon.

  2. Smiling is contagious and you do it so well!!

  3. I agree with diane. You have a wonderful smile - quite contagious. Then you have wonderful things to say and talk about and more, following that smile!

  4. Sorry, I hit something and my post disappeared, so I will start over. I also smile at strangers. It started at work, in downtown Houston, where there are LOTS of strangers. I would make eye contact and smile... no expectations. Sometimes you get a return smile, sometimes not. I too have gotten brave and now do it all the time. Hopefully we can make someone's day! It also makes me feel good to have a smile on my face rather than a distracted look or frown.
    In rural Texas, it is expected that you will wave at a passing
    vehicle, even if you do not know the person....

  5. Linda, I absolutely agree with you. For several years ago, I decided to greet people with a smile and a hello and how is your day going. Not just with people I meet on the street or in the store, but with people who are working in stores and resturants. I think it has always been a postive experience for them and it certainly is for me. Keeps me in a good frame of mind and positive.

    I agree that you have an absolutely wonderful smile. Maggie Winfield

  6. Awww, you guys! "Being kind" is really a lot of fun, and I'm sure I get more out of it than the recipients do. I think I inherited it from my mother ... she has never met a stranger!

  7. Linda, some people just have that talent and I think you are one of them. Maggie


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