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So this morning I got up a few moments before the alarm, took a peek at my iPhone and then hopped out of bed to get my day started. It is at this moment that I made a crucial decision that would set the tempo for the rest of my day.

I decided to smile.

Even though it was a chilly morning and I needed to head to the office soon, I pulled on my sweatpants, put on a t-shirt and what I affectionately call my “trailer trash jacket” and went for a 15 minute walk to get my blood and mind moving for the day. I may not have had time for a bike ride but I certainly had a few minutes to walk.

I continued to smile.


(Taken at 5:34 a.m., I look like I just got out of bed and I’m not ashamed of that.)

It’s amazing what you can do when you decide to smile and it’s even more amazing when you decide to share your smile with others. Admittedly, this is something that I forget at times and sometimes I scowl and that scowl becomes contagious. This is not good for the human equation. It’s the smile that we should make contagious.

The reason this has been on my mind today is because I just walked into the Dunkin’ Donuts closest to work. This is the same location that once upon a time always had my large, unsweetened iced tea with lemon poured and ready to go when I walked in the door, but times change and habits are modified accordingly. The attentive staff always had a smile on their face. They were pleasant and they seemed like they were enjoying their job.

A new shift leader has apparently joined in the past couple of months. The first time I noticed that she was added to the staff, it was because she was shrieking at a co-workers about the hot chocolate machine. People may say that I exaggerate at times, but trust me, “shrieking” is not an exaggeration when used to describe the noises she was making regarding the discontent with the hot chocolate machine. It wasn’t until a few visits later that I noticed the words “shift leader” on her badge.

This new addition to the crew is never smiling. She doesn’t look very happy. Maybe things like hot chocolate machines bother her. Perhaps her till is unbalanced. Maybe she’s unbalanced. I hope that whatever makes her choose not to smile is not something that turns out to be insurmountable, because no one should have to live a miserable life.

Her scowling has become contagious, and the rest of the formerly pleasant staff have turned very quiet and apathetic towards their duties. I have noticed this on my last couple of visits. If the store is dead silent when I walk in, it means she’s the shift leader.

So today I decided to smile at her. It was a happy, well-intended smile. I even said, “Have a good day.”

Nothing was returned aside from a blank stare. Apparently my smile was not contagious enough. Maybe I’m spooky. Perhaps she found my intentions to be creepy. Whatever the reason, she decided not to return the smile. That’s all well and good and as I said before, I hope she can find a reason to smile at least once today.

As I left Dunkin’ Donuts I made the choice to continue smiling. And for me, that in itself is a reason to smile.

1 Comment

  1. I think some humans just don’t know how to smile. Which is sad. I think they’re the ones who were meant to be exposed on the hillsides as infants….

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