It is not new anymore, it has seeped into our lives and taken away the peace of our minds. It is the bane of our existence, the cause and effect of noise pollution, traffic jams.
What am I talking about? Stress.
Yes, stress. It makes its presence evident in every step of our life. When is it the most prominent? Evening peak hour traffic. Every person on the road has gone through pretty much similar pattern of work life. Right from a construction worker to CEO: Answer your boss, fight for your pay, prove yourself, face the competition, plan your family budget... blah blah blah... Doesn't everyone face that?
I am like everyone.
Like everyone, I too have had stressful days (No, this is not for the Ripley's). And it is on such an evening, I am struck with epiphany. The solution to all this stress lies in a very tiny exercise. It needs more of emotional preparation than physical. Do you get what I am talking about? No? Well... I am not surprised. It is too simple.
Yes, I am talking about a smile.
What made me reach such a conclusion? Well, that's a story and this story is exactly why I am posting.
I travel by the public transport bus, and evenings are the times when the bus staff (I mean, the driver and the conductor) are at their cranky best. Giving them a tough competition is the bus load of passengers behaving like a mix of three-year-old Montessori kids and goats (No offense meant to kids and goats). At such a time, it is always a pleasant surprise to find the conductor or the driver, or both, capable of handling the crowd with a bit of humor and genuine, though tired, smiles on their faces. When I see such staff, all the tension and stress from my day just wears off.. Just like that.
I genuinely appreciate these people who go through their duties with a smile on their face and humor on their tongue. If they can do it, why can't we?
Is it so difficult to enlighten someone else's day by smiling at them (a nice smile, I mean. Don't have to creep that person out)? Is it that difficult to forget about your own tension for a moment and relieve someone else of theirs by performing a very tiny deed like offering to hold their bag while they stand, letting an elderly person sit while you stand?
Try it. The effect is seen on the face of the stranger, and my dear friend, it sure is dazzling.