Have you ever noticed that when you're feeling happy and are smillng, that people smile back at you and, even, treat you differently compared to times when you're feeling down or grumpy?
It's as if they want a bit of what you've got or want to be part of what you're part of. It's as if they're mirroring your feelings and unconsciously becoming part of your happiness. And that is beautiful.
And that's why I find such beauty in the simplicity in this quote from Drew Barrymore:
"I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness"
There's a word that people say to each other here in Switzerland. It's "Grüezi" and it simply means "Hello". But what makes this so special isn't the word itself but that people say it to everyone.
When you walk into a shop, the shop staff will practically stop what they're doing and say "Grüezi" to welcome you.
When you're out walking through a village or hiking in the mountains and you pass someone by you greet them with a smile and say "Grüezi".
It truly makes you feel welcome and makes you smile. And I've found that, for me, Switzerland, as a country, has such a gentle and open atmosphere about it... probably because of this openness and friendliness toward each other.
And it's now something I take with me when I travel.
I recently visited friends and family back in my home country and whenever I walked into a shop, I would greet everyone with a simple "Hello". And when we went out a walk and we passed someone by, I'd greet them with a smile and "Hello". And it felt inclusive and friendly and, mostly, people returned that smile and said "Hello" back to me too.
Such a simple gesture and yet it has such a beautiful ripple effect that touches everyone you come in contact with, if only for a moment. Hopefully it made them feel good; it certainly it made me feel great that, if just for a moment, someone realised that a stranger had seen them and took the time to greet them.
We're all so very busy, running from place to place, checking our phones all the time... constantly on the go or doing something. And I feel we're losing the simple and beautiful things that we did so very naturally in the past.
But rather than dwell on something beautiful that appears to have mostly disappeared, I want to focus on bringing it back into fashion. Because I can see and feel the benefit it has. Not only do I feel good smiling at a stranger and saying "Hello" only to see them smile back at me, but it's obvious that they feel good too in that moment. And if we could have more moments like that in the day, how much more beautiful would our daily lives be?
So, go on, I challenge you. Start smiling and saying "Hello" to the people you meet when you enter a shop or an office, or other building. And even when you're out and about and you happen to make eye contact with a stranger.
Sure it might feel a bit weird and awkward the first few times you try it because you may not be used to greeting strangers or you may find that the other person doesn't react as you would expect, not because they don't feel the kindness you've shared but because you've caught them off-guard and they're a little confused at the start.
But I guarantee, the more you smile, the more you greet people you come into contact with, the more we'll start a happy revolution and begin to create happier and more beautiful people around us and in the countries we live in.