An elderly man sits in a chair in the front of the store. His eyes seem lifeless as he leans on his cane. Maybe he is waiting for someone or just tired and needed a place to sit. The first time I passed by him, I looked at him trying to catch his gaze, but he just stared off into the distance. The next time I passed by him, our eyes met, I smiled at him and with a startled look, he gave me a half-hearted smile. I wondered about this man. What kind of life does he live? What are his struggles and triumphs? I decided to pass by him one more time. As I got closer to where he was sitting, I realized he was staring right at me with a wonderful smile on his face. I smiled back and nodded at him and he nodded back. His unexpected smile caught me off guard but in a good way. It made me feel good to have made a connection with someone. Even if I never see that old man again, I believe he planted a seed of kindness in me and I in him.
The human heart has an amazing way of nourishing ” seeds” and helping them blossom. Seeds of kindness, forgiveness, and hope are planted in the hearts of people everyday by the acts and words of other people. At one time or another, we have all been the planter of the seed or the receiver of the seed.
To be the receiver and nourisher of “seeds” you must be willing to have an open mind and heart. When we as humans are in distress, it is natural to close your mind and heart to other people because we don’t want to experience any more pain or bother people with our troubles. Instead of closing ourselves off, what if we tried smiling when we don’t feel like smiling. Making eye contact with someone when we don’t feel like looking up. This will open our minds, bodies, and souls for the seeds of love and kindness. Those seeds will grow as long as we nourish them with thoughts of hope. Then when we least expect it, we will be feeling emotions of love and peace that were not there before.
To be a “planter of seeds” you must be willing to reach out to other people whether they are strangers, friends, co-workers or family. Try for one week to put aside your inhabitations and reach out to others with a smile, a simple hello, or the phrase God bless you. You will feel amazing and you will have planted many seeds of kindness and love. Those seeds will grow in them and affect the people around them. You may get some people who won’t smile or respond, but keep trying. Maybe your smile or act of kindness is the only positive thing that has happen to the person all day.
You can change someone’s day with just a smile and a nod