In an age of rush-rush, digital media, reality tv (that’s never quite as real as they would have us believe) and get-the-most-bang-for-your-buck philosophy, the little things are often set aside in lieu of the “bigger picture”, little things like a friendly smile handed out with the morning paper.
On the corner of Wellington and Bank st. in downtown Ottawa, a young woman hands out free copies of Metro, a local daily newspaper. The young woman is pretty but that’s not what you notice – it’s the beaming smile that lights up her face like fireworks.
Now, before you assume that she is smiling at me for my rugged handsomeness and charm, you should know that she smiles at everyone, whether they take a newspaper from her or not. She hands out smiles like she hands out papers, freely and without expecting anything in return. And every morning, I wonder how she does it.
After all, her job is not glamorous by any means. And I can’t imagine it pays very well. Plus, it requires her to get up early and stand on a street corner for extended periods of time. And yet there she is, day in day out, rain or shine, offering a bit of free news to the hundreds of people who get off the bus on that corner, and so much more; more, I would think, that even she realises. It’s like your morning cup of coffee – it wakes you up and makes you feel good.
There is no moral to this story. A smile won't change the world but the little things do count. And on a dreary workday morning, her smile brings just that extra little bit of warmth that can make all the difference in your day.