I was listening to the radio yesterday (which I rarely do) and there was a song that sang about people hurting themselves and others. It spoke of how a simple kind word could have made all the difference in their lives.
I wonder how many times I've passed up an opportunity to speak kindly, or even give a friendly smile and hello to someone who could have really used that bit of friendship at that moment. How many people I could have helped overcome something with just a touch of encouragement.
Once upon a time I worked retail. I interacted with people galore. I was friendly which ended up meaning people would release their pent up worries and angers and concerns as if I was a street psychologist. Honestly, I didn't mind. I could tell this was what these people needed.
Today, I work in a gray, drab cubical. My interaction is with co-workers (who I'm friendly with) and people in the building as I walk to get coffee. I don't often pass them by without saying hello. But do I give that same friendly smile that welcomes them? Or is it a superficial phrase now.
I know someone who says my kindness has saved their life. Whether that's literal or figuratively, I don't now - but I know that being kind and friendly to people can help more than you think.
And really .. is it so hard to give a happy, "Good morning! How are you today?" to people you see? Or a friendly smile and nod? Not really.