Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

October 20, 2010

Project Smile part 2

I was so excited today to hear from TWO people about a past blog post in which I talked about people's lack of connecting with each other. I talked about walking down the street and smiling at a few different people, all of which received fairly negative responses. That was when Project Smile started...

The day after I started project smile I had a few more positive responses but that was followed by more negative ones in the days that followed. I did continue (and still do to be honest). This is what I have discovered...

Old women, they smile at me. They might be remembering days when they themselves were young mothers rushing around with their own children. They might be smiling in pity or it could be pleasure at those memories, I am not sure which. I still get the occasional grumpy old lady, and at one point I stopped and turned to the giver of the grumpy look and smiled again and said 'I hope you have a good day'. This was met with a stare, and a muttered 'thankyou'.

I once smiled at an older man, he was coming out of a bar and looked like he might have had a few too many, but I smiled and he looked up at me and beamed (probably from the drink) and said 'now that's the first smile I have seen all day'. (How sad is that?). Another time I was passing by homeless gentleman, he was rough looking and sitting on the bench outside of a church. It was night and I was coming home from the gym, I have to admit I was rushing so Project Smile wasn't on my mind and if I am more honest with you it hadn't been on my mind for a few days. The boys had been sick, I had been sick, I was tired and over extended with my commitments... anyway, I was walking past this homeless man and he looked up at me and said 'Oh darling, are you still mad at me?' and I turned and had to smile. He laughed and told me to have a good night and we had a nice little chat about life for a few minutes. I found it so ironic that the face of someone most would ignore in society was the one to remind me about project smile. This man, down and out as he was managed to connect with me in a way that we in our business don't often do.

Life lesson: Next time you see a homeless person, smile, wish them well. They too are made by our creator in his own image and loved by God. In the words of a Canadian songwriter Jack Connolly 'we could use some change'.

So, all in all,  Project Smile is an ongoing thing. I am being taught a lot and learning from unexpected places. Now that I know there are people out there who are interested I will write again on the subject but I would also really love to hear from you about your own project smiles... have you tried it? How did it turn out?