While growing up, mom and I always had quarrels about my inability to hold a smile. She would say: “you squeeze your face like you carry the weight of the world on your head”. Then I would get angry and tell her that was who I was, not everyone needed to have a smile plastered on their face. Another time it was about my lack of enthusiasm when greeting people; She told me I would greet in such a grumpy way. And again I replied, “mom, I’m an introvert, you just don’t understand me”
To me, not smiling was more of a defense mechanism. I didn’t want people to take me for granted because I was quiet and I thought me not smiling would guard against that.
I have now grown to understand that the fights I had with my mom weren’t about me changing my personality but my attitude. She thought me to value everyone I come across in life;even when they have nothing to offer me
It is true, as an introvert, I find it difficult to start up conversations with people because it takes me a while to warm up to them. I’ve had times when I’m having a really bad day and then someone random smiles at me. Their smile doesn’t take away the situation but it sure makes a difference to have someone show that simple act of kindness and it has nothing to do with whether they’re introverts or not. Which made me realize not smiling wasn’t in anyway a defense mechanism, it was just me holding back simple gestures.
I met miss Gloria on one of my trips to the bathroom in the Engineering study room. I had seen her cleaning there a couple of times but I decided to say hello that day. Ever since then, we would stop to have a 5 min chit chat every time we run into each other.
Robin is the lady that stays in the mini mart in the same building and she would ask about my day, tell me about hers and tell some jokes every time I drop by to grab a snack.
These ladies are not in any way obligated to be kind to me but they are anyway and the short conversations I have with them add up to what makes my day.
We get so focused on the big goal, the big picture, the big life that we fail to recognize and appreciate the little things.
I’m learning to be more conscious of the people around me. I’d say thank you to the bus driver when getting off the bus and even though it’s their job, they should still be appreciated for it ; if they decide not to do it I’d have to walk to school everyday.
I’d smile at the construction guy on my way to the bus stop in the morning just to silently wish him a good day.
We are all going through something in some way or the other and you never know what difference a simple gesture would make.
Sharing the gospel doesn’t necessarily have to be us carrying our bibles and standing on the streets. Sometimes it’s just treating people the way we want to be treated. Sometimes it is just acknowledging people and appreciating them for who they are. Sometimes it is just as simple as a smile. And you’ll never know how these little things will draw people to the light we radiate.
“Sometimes, we are the first Bible people get to read”
I’m grateful to my mom for teaching me this valuable lesson and I pray God gives us all the grace to see the joy in the little things.