Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bringing Light Wherever You Go

Do you know what a smiling baby does to a grocery store?  He makes it a small piece of paradise.

When I go grocery shipping with my adorable son, he is in absolute bliss.  He sits in the front of the cart, looking around and thrilling in every new sight.  He babbles and waves his tiny arms, bounces like he's dancing.  He just loves every second of it.

And everyone who sees him is transformed.

I mean, I see people who look about as miserable as a person can look, suddenly convert their posture, facial expression and voice to something really pleasant.

Wells at 6 months old, his first ride in the front of the cart
I said to Wells the other day, as I pushed him along the aisles, "You know what, buddy, you make a lot of people happy."  And it makes me happy to see people like that.  It changes the whole experience of grocery shopping!

So I wonder, is this capability of carrying infectious joy limited to babies?  Could each of us bring a similar light with us everywhere we go?

I'm not saying you should grin inanely, wave your arms around and go hopping through a grocery store.  I'm not sure that would have the desired effect.  But is there a way to bring light with you wherever you go?

Here's what I can piece together. . .

1) Wells makes people happy because he's happy.  So to bring light I can try being happy!

2) People aren't afraid to smile and coo at Wells because he's not judging them (at least not more than, "Who is that funny lady?" kind of judging).  I can try not judging every person I see.  This is a tricky one because judging has a lot of nuances.  There is the really harsh kind of judgment, "Ugh.  What an idiot," or, "She looks like a real bitch." And then there are the subtler judgments, the assumptions.

One of the people who recently thrilled at Wells's cart time reverie was a man in his early twenties, shaved head and goatee, sleeveless shirt, lots of ink, with an armful of beer.  He wasn't the guy I would have expected to take notice of or interest in a baby (cue the judgment).    But as he walked towards us his face lit up in a huge smile.  "You're having more fun than anyone in here," he announced to my little one.  And that was the truth!

3) Wells returns people's smiles and they love it! I can try smiling at people (in a sane way).  This one should be fairly easy as long as I can remember follow steps 1 & 2, to stay happy and not judge.

Let's see what I can do to a grocery store even without my little cutie pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment