As I drove along a sideroad to the main thoroughfare on my way back from a meeting yesterday, a man and his dog stood at an unmarked intersection waiting for a break in traffic so that they could cross. I stopped. Motioned for the man to cross. The man waved, smiled broadly and ran across the road, his dog, leaping and running on his four short legs beside the man, his face turned up to follow every move of his master. I smiled back as I watched and kept smiling as I drove away. They were a picture of joy and their joy entered my heart.
And in that brief interaction where the paths of two strangers intersected, gratitude descended and we were both ‘made different’.
It’s easy to be ‘made different’ in a day. Simply watch for moments where simple gestures that say, “I see you. I honour your presence.” open up, providing you an opportunity to acknowledge someone else’s presence.
Like in a coffee shop when you move to the counter to put a lid on your container and someone else approaches at the same time. Smile. Make eye-contact. Step back, make room for a stranger. Smile again.
Like when entering a revolving door and someone approaches at the same time. Smile. Make eye-contact. Step back, make room for a stranger. Smile again.
Like when walking down the street and a stranger or a panhandler approaches. Smile. Make eye-contact — no matter your decision to give or not. Smile. Say “Hello.”
It is so easy to go through our day and not ‘see’, really see the people around us. Yet, in those moments of grace where we acknowledge their presence, when we say through a simple smile, “I see you. I honour your presence on my path.”, we too receive the gift of being present, being visible in someone else’s life. We too are ‘made different’ in that moment of connection.
I stopped to let a man and his dog cross the road yesterday and in that moment I was ‘made different’. My heart filled with joy and I carried my smile openly for the rest of my drive home.