A few years ago I was in NYC for business. While I was making my way from my hotel to the Empire State Building I noticed something disturbing. People were head down, briskly walking to their destinations, barely making any eye contact. As I continued to walk this started to bother me. I began to think, what would happen if I were to smile and make a comment to them?
|Validation (Photo credit: splorp)|
So I started my little experiment. At first I was trying to make eye contact before I spoke. That wasn’t working. People were rushing by me as fast as they could! As you may know there are moments that people start to slow down at each street corner, either waiting for that crazy erratic taxi to drive through the crowds or at a street light. This is where I decided to re-start my experiment!
I began to make eye contact and tell them, “Good Morning” with a smile. I would change it up a bit, by saying, “Hope you have a great day today”! There were those that actually responded! At first they looked somewhat startled, “You talkin’ to me?”! Kidding no one said that! Startled that someone was actually speaking to them. Some smiled back, some even said, “Thank you, same to you!”
Maybe only one smile will not change the world, but what if one smile or one kind action created a butterfly effect? I started to notice that as I walked, a feeling of happiness came over me. There was even a hop in my steps. I no longer felt alone in that big city. I continued to do this until I reached my destination.
Of course I am not sure if the same feelings came over those that actually responded to me, or if they continued to do the same as they made their walk that morning. Something inside of me changed that day. I realized that a small gesture could actually affect someone’s day and make it a better one.
In the end we all want to be validated, but what has stopped us from validating others? Today I was introduced to this video, “Validation”, which has won several Short Film Awards. Which validates my point!