You know those moments, when you take a shower in the evening and you recap your day? Well I do, and I had one of these today.
What was special about it though, was the fact that a little thing that stayed in my mind the longest. When I left my house for school in the morning I met my housemate outside, who was getting her bike ready to leave. As I walked by to get to the bus I smiled and said: “Have a nice day!”
She seemed surprised by my words but here face turned into a big smile and she returned the kindness. To me that was a big thing! I don’t know her very well, because I recently moved in and we’ve hardly talked. But most of the time she seems stressed and doesn’t smile a whole lot. That made the smile very rewarding!
Where I want to go with this little anecdote is, that the little gestures in life can make a difference. You might brighten the busy day of a friend or coworker by just smiling at them and wishing them a nice day. The cashier at your bakery around the corner or the bus driver that brings you to work will enjoy an honest “Thank You!”.
It hasn’t really come to me how much I value these words until I came back to Germany from a year in Oregon. There “How are you?”, “Have a nice day” and “Thank You!” are just common courtesy. But here….. Maybe we Germans want to be left alone during our day. Hopefully the other people don’t bother us. When they want to say something it’s probably an annoying bleat or a general complaint about how horrible their life is. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad but it surely seems sometimes!
Essentially I miss how people in the US smile at you and give you a little kindness as you try to get through a busy day. I can’t make people say these things, but I surely can do it myself! As I went out the shower I told myself to be the nice guy. To smile at people. To wish them a nice day. To give thanks to the people that make my life possible. From the employees at the grocery store, over the lady that hands me the food in the cafeteria to the bus driver that takes me to school in the morning.
I hope I can sweeten their day a little or reward them a tiny bit for what they are doing! And YOU should do the same, if you can!