A few days back, I exchanged eye contact and then a brief smile with a lady at a traffic light. It was just a moment and had no lasting effect that I’m aware of… but left me feeling good, somehow.
As we drove our separate ways, it made me think back to a moment many years ago, which I’d like to share with you now:
I expected to be alone for the day – touring London on the big red, open top, hop-on, and hop-off bus. The last time I actually toured it was when I was 16; so I got a real kick out of the whole idea of doing so again in a city I visit often.
Shortly after I boarded the tour bus at Baker Street, a young Chinese woman (who has lived in The Hague for the past eight years) asked me to take a picture of her. She too was travelling alone. That was the beginning of a nine-hour journey of friendship together.
Jing and I watched the famous changing of the guards, toured Buckingham Palace, cruised down the River Thames and soaked in the other historic sites. An onlooker would have assumed we were old friends: chatting away, laughing, taking pictures together, and catching up with life.
Jing is an open, warm, intelligent, and refreshing reminder that friendship often begins between strangers who simply exchange hellos.
In one of the exquisite palace staterooms, she excitedly exclaimed, “Mozella, this really is a fairy tale!”
Smile at someone you don’t know.
Give them the priceless gift of your time.
You won’t regret it.
And you might just make someone’s day. And they might just make yours!