Well, that sure is easy to say, but there is so much going on in the world that changes our smile. The devastation of the fires in Houston and BC, the effects of terrorism, the political climate in the United States; and even closer to home, things like the price of gas, job security in healthcare, the health of our aging parents – it’s a long list! Then add all the people who irritate, annoy, enrage, and depress us and some days it’s hard to smile. We can all get overwhelmed and buried by sadness, grief and negative emotions but friends, this is no way to live! The constant leak of positive energy and thoughts that escapes our hearts and heads into the atmosphere, is a slow death of joy, health and happiness! Wow, what a Debbie Downer this blog turned out to be LOL! Nope, we are not going down this way!
One of the more difficult experiences in my life has been working in a stressful work environment. Yep, I have worked for bullies too! One day, in one of my work places, I made the choice that I should start treating people the way I was being treated. I always try to follow the Golden Rule (treat others the way you want to be treated) and sometimes I have been taken advantage of, walked over, the proverbial doormat so to speak. One of the quotes I use often in my presentation Stressed to Kill is “What you permit, you promote”. In other words, if we allow people to treat us badly we are somewhat culpable as well.
So back to my workplace….. I embarked on a two-week experiment of treating people the way they treated me. Guess what happened? Something amazing, completely unexpected, and life-altering! I began to hate myself….
The rest of the quote that goes with the opening title of this blog goes like this: “let your smile change the world”. I had allowed the world to change my smile, to change the essence of who I was; someone who was raised to always be kind and respectful no matter what. However, I had not been raised to be a doormat, and I needed to find the balance between being kind and respectful, and allowing people to be disrespectful in return. My way of going about it had been completely wrong. Treating people who are disrespectful or rude, disrespectfully and rudely leaves YOU as the perpetrator and them as the victim. I allowed myself to not say good morning, to not wish people a good weekend, to not initiate conversation because this is how I had been treated. But nothing changed in the workplace as a result of my change. However, I changed and I didn’t like it one bit. I could not look myself in the mirror with respect or love or pride during those two weeks.
Don’t let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world! In light of the hate being displayed so openly, so close to home in the US and Canada, don’t let the world change your smile! Love, respect, a smile and a willingness to help our fellow man is what will finally bring peace to a world in which that seems so lost. Let your smile change the world!
If you have misplaced your smile and would like some help, I’m here, let’s talk!