A 19 years old stranger started crying when I asked him to give me a smile. It took ten full minutes to bring smile on his face, His smiley face was blessing for me. I experienced the feeling of genuine gratitude. Since childhood I used to be very sensitive but extroverted. If I saw anyone in trouble or misery, it would make me very sad. I would put all my hurdles aside and focus on them to solve and try to comfort their feelings. But I didn’t know time will come and qualities fade along the way. We become a reflection of others or be what others want us to be. But how long we can live the life of someone else. The hardest feeling ever: I got lost. Standing on the edge and asking “who am I?” and “what I am here for?” I was tired of living in a shadow. Fear and doubts were covering me. I was not sure how to overcome from it. That misery was all around the atmosphere I could feel it but I was unable to express because I was so lost and emotionally broke that I could hardly explain this to anyone. I would just blame the person next to me because it was easy to do so. I shouted staring at sky Why, Why me. I ended laughing. I was so surprised to experience the glimpse of truth.
Now everything is rediscovered version of me which turned out in this unspeakable way, as if it was a unadulterated “me” sans the impurities. Helping, talking, forgiving,accepting,caring,sharing with anyone to everyone just stems from this feeling of gratitude. I met aged strangers and I started asking them what they can teach me from their life; what made them happy; if they have any regrets, what are they and so on. I learned a lot about life. One common unsatisfactory feeling I found in all these people: people don’t value each-other anymore. I personally feel it’s because we never try to investigate within to find truth. We believe in our assumption, doubt and values made by others more than reality. I understand situations can go awry, but what is our effort to make it better? We would rather try to avoid it or suppress it and enjoy living in an illusion and wait to suffer.
On the process of my self-consciousness, I realized how childhood matters. We have just increase our height and weight otherwise feelings,emotions and motivations are all same. The difference between childhood and adulthood are we used to be aware, conscious and insightful during our childhood most of the time but now we have given up, to live in a moment and always focusing on future. And not only that childhood memories keeps on hunting us simultaneously gives us a chance to follow the right path but we ignore it. I came across some incident and those occurrence are so much similar to my childhood. I wouldn’t have realized if I was not aware of the moment. One day I came across this video where this little child from “Syria” who was barely 8 months old was confused whether she was supposed to laugh or cry. On one side she sees mom bleeding and another side the sound of atomic bomb and triggering gun. I felt so much pity on this little child I wished I could hold her and tell everything will be fine. I wanted to calm her but there was no way I could do so. The next occur, I came across another incident where an old man aged around 50-60 was half conscious on the floor. I was passing by , everyone was looking at him. So did I. A thought crossed my mind as soon as I catch the train. I realized at least I could have shown some empathy in my actions. But I didn’t have that enough courage to do so at that point. I just become a side walker as others. I felt so bad that day ,the worst I could have ever felt. I learnt how fear can eat us from within. I questioned myself where is humanity? Where is my humankind?Why I am unable to act?
Another day I came across a kid aged 11 whom I assumed was a victim of bullying, always stepping into the bus with sad face. I didn’t know what the reason was but I wanted to help her. After a few days of observation, I understood the problem and then I become a friend to her, helped her in a way that I learnt to become strong. I see smile and confidence on her face these days and it feels really great.
A guy who sleeps on the street always complained to me. I am waiting to die. I had a closer look and better understanding of suffering. I did case study in my head. I analyzed all scenarios and I saw different kinds of motivational videos. I encouraged myself to talk with new strangers more often while traveling on my way to home and work. I was working with my fear , doubt and anxiety at the same time. One after another I was getting better at talking to people and all those street people and other strangers. They started giving me their wishes and blessing while on my way to work. Most of these skills I think I mastered at Professional Staffing Group (Boston) (place I used to work). My body, mind and energy were placed in a perfect place to build myself strongly at very right time and I got a chance to learn my dream: the one I saw when I was a little kid. I am very thankful to everyone at PSG (Boston). I felt that I was chosen to be there. There smile and relationship with customer triggered my brain. I seriously learnt and practiced to comfort people with compassion, joy and kindness and also implemented sales profession discipline professionally, personally and passionately. After all, what I needed was courage to deal with public and situation so that I can learn to be courageous and cheers others to bring joy around. One thing I have clearly understood is worrying too much doesn’t help but working towards it does. I saw, examined, experienced and felt good how living in a moment truly helps.
Now I want to tell the whole world what a simple smile can do to change our surrounding and simultaneously helps to develop positive attitude. I came across a book called “Making ideas happen” I turned few pages and the idea called “Smile for Peace” popped up into my head and then a new journey began. I made a unique introduction to start conversations with people. As soon as I introduced myself I saw beautiful smile on their face and after a lot of practice I planned to take pictures with 100 strangers it happen to be 96 perfect strangers and 4 co-workers. I did this project to tell that one small and simple effort can make a difference. Smile has supernatural power to boost positive energy I have experience every bit of it. I realized how mandatory it is to smile every now and then to improve the atmosphere. I was encouraged by many strangers and coworkers appreciated me for doing so and asked me to continue with it. Now I have more than 200 smile strangers friends. We have simple connection and i:e smile.
Lastly, what I have learned is: to embrace pain with a smile otherwise stress will overpower our mind and time is not that far that negative energy will cover a lot of space on the earth. Everyone is getting frustrated and we are unable to figure out what is the cause. And it is just lack of smile. I smile most of the time. Some smile back at me some don’t, but I do what I am supposed to do without any expectation. I smile to bring peace.
I am Sarita. Your smile matters to this world and it makes me happy. Check out this video you may be here in this creation of Smile for peace.
Written by Sarita Lamichhana
Smile for peace project with strangers.