On 6th. December I made a social experiment in metro in Berlin. All people who smiled to me or who were smiling just like this could receive small candies, together with words: "Thank you for a beautiful smile!"
"Sharing is carrying", plus "Nothing is for free" seem to be a contradictory sayings. Why not to proove this assumption wrong? As I wanted to share candies, which I decided to refuse during Advent time, and I felt somehow depressed with a grey weather and atmosphere in Berlin, I came up with a risky idea. I wanted to try to get smiles from strangers using public transportation in Berlin, offering them as an acknowledgements a bag of sweets. The results were surprising!
Taking only around 2 hours of time I distributed almost all candies I had in a "Smile-Lachen paper bag." There were people, who smiled to me, as they noticed my Santa Claus Hat. Some others replied to my smile with the same act of kindness. There were also those, who kept smiling so encouragingly, that one couldn't pass them by without any reaction; or at least today I couldn't. What is defenitely sure - all those whom I proposed sweets, smiled in a respond to the offer. Oddly enough, between 10 and 20 percent of those refused to treat themself. Maybe there is a hope for our "sugar-dominated world"...
However, those the most eager to smile were predominantly older people, street musicians and poor people asking for help. The hardest to reach were youngsters and men aged 30-60. Given the small scale and a short period of time of the experiment one should rather refrain from general conclusions when it comes to certain group of people tending to smile more or less in public spaces. Nevertheless, one finding I'd rather not eschew. Smiling to strangers is perceied rather unsuitable. My question will be: is it better so?
We could probably all agree, that complaining belongs to human nature. Every day, each one of us could easily find at least few reasons to express dissatisfaction with something. Beliving in Karma as well as balanced nature of the world, I'd kindly ask: is the complaining balanced with praising. Do we say compliements just as often as criticism? Do we say thank you in similiar frequency to requiring something for us? Do we appreciate positive experiences as consciouly as we gramble that things went wrong?
I wish many people could answer "Yes, of course" to above questions. Deciding for continuing my positive approach, I just leve the opportunity to all readers, to answer honestly for themselfs. What I could share, one good thing is, that even if the answer is apparently not rewarding yet, at the end of the day it's up to us how we live our life and what are we doing with it. Every minute can change all for better. So, keep smiling and stay positive!