My 3 year old loves to say ” Hi” to everyone we come in contact with during our lives. Her greet is a simple ” Hi “with this endearing smile attached. Her “Hi ” might be a little timid if she is unsure of the person and many times her “Hi” leads to a conversation. At first this used to frustrate me as it would slow us down during errands. Even going to a restaurant if we sat anywhere near the front door she will greet everyone with a “Hi”.
I stopped being frustrated with the constant greetings. I opened my eyes to what her greeting does for an individual on the receiving end. When my daughter greets them she makes eye contact and completes it with a warm smile. Her light pours off her and the people she comes in contact with light up with her. I notice that they may have been in thought or had a serious expression on their face. Then my daughter greets them and in turn the frown disappears and a smile graces their lips. A lot of times they will engage in a conversation with her.
We were in the midst of a relocation and during this time we were staying at Hotel. I would take my 3 little ones out for the day, so we weren’t cooped up at the hotel. Each day upon returning there was an older gentleman that worked for the Hotel. He would be sitting outside having a break. My 3 year old would walk up and sit down next to him on the sidewalk. She would proceed to greet and share her stories with this man. This gentleman spoke little English, and he would smile back at her and communicate with her in his broken English. The whole time my precious daughter would smile and share her light and warmth.
Towards the end of our stay he approached me and in his broken English with a translator told me how much he would miss my daughters afternoon greetings and smiles. These moments had been the highlight of his day the last few weeks. I realized in that moment that God had given me this beautiful child to show me what true kindness looks like. It is as simple as a greeting with a warm smile attached. Kindness is the willingness to slow down and make contact with another person. To share space and spread the warmth of a smile.
Til Our Next Adventure,