Smiling at Strangers and 4 things I learned today
So my thing for today was inspired by Eileen in the UK and Christie in California. Eileen suggested I smile at everyone I meet when I'm shopping, and then pray for the person in front of me in the queue (for all of you uncultured people out there, this is the British word for line). Christie wants me to take a picture every day and give my reason for taking it. So I put those two together, and since I didn't plan on shopping today I decided to just smile at everyone while I was driving. And since I don't own a working camera, I decided to use my video camera instead. So...I learned some important things today.
1. It's not safe to drive while trying to film people. I was only going 10 miles an hour on my own street, filming my irritated, bewildered neighbors when I figured that one out. You tend to swerve a little and scare people. So once I turned out of my own street I could only film at the stoplights.
2. People don't like to make eye contact at stoplights. They inch their car up little by little if you try to look at them. Even if you have your faced pressed up against the window. Even if you roll it down and wave wildly to get their attention. They just keep inching away until the light turns green.
3. If you do get someone to look at you at a stoplight, they REALLY don't like to see a video camera pointed at their face. Even if you're smiling and waving. Even your cutest smile. It makes people cranky. Even on a Friday.
I was going to post the video I shot anyway, but my friend Karen at work said I can get arrested for voyeurism. Is that true? I don't think that's true. Whatever. I'm not a stalker.
Anyway, back to my story. So I decided I needed to salvage the day and I sat outside Ray's grocery story for 20 minutes on my lunch hour waiting for an elderly person that needed help with their groceries. Come on! Just one elderly person. Nothing. Sigh. By the end of the day, I had nothing. Except I filmed my awesome friend Tonjie at work ranting about the post office, which is kind of hilarious, plus she has a good point. I might post that one sometime. But I had nothing really inspiring.
After work I got into my car, rolled down the windows and headed home under a beautiful Southern Oregon sky. I turned up the music and thought about my day. About how it didn't work out. But you know what? I tried. And I learned some stuff. And it really was a good day anyway. I was stopped at the top of the overpass waiting for the light to turn. I looked over at the lane facing me and there was this lady in a big white SUV. I smiled at her. She just looked at me with kind of a blank stare. And then suddenly she got this huge smile on her face and we just sat there grinning at each other until the lights turned. And then I said a little prayer for her while I drove the rest of the way home. Which brings me to the final thing I learned today.
4. People are smart. I was not smiling at drivers this morning to be kind. I was smiling to get them to smile back at me so that I could post a cool video on my blog. I was selfish-smiling. That was the problem. I was a selfish smiler! And somehow each person knew it. If I'm going to do this 30 Things in 30 Days thing, it can't really be all about me. It started out being all about me, but now it's something else. I want to see new things about God, and about the world. And I want to tell you about it. And today I want to tell you this:
At the end of the day, it really is about the intentions of the heart.