A simple wish for the year ahead

To the Editor:

There’s a very old song with the words ... “Let a smile be your umbrella for a rainy rainy day.”

A smile costs nothing but simple awareness. Looking around and making eye contact is a small price to pay for lighting up the corner where you are.

I had an experience the day after Christmas that underscored how important human contact can be.

I dashed into a small discount store where a clerk was restocking cards. The aisle had already been cleared of holiday cards and Valentine hearts peeked out of appropriate slots.

The employee turned her head and made eye contact just as I rounded the corner. I smiled and said, “Hi ... I see we are already preparing for 2020 ... hope it’s gonna be a better year for everyone.” She shrugged and sadly rolled her eyes.

I stopped across the aisle to select my card as she continued her work but she responded that though 2019 had been a challenge, for her it was one of the best years of her life! I was all ears as I hurriedly thumbed through birthday selections.

She explained her first grandbaby had graced their family. Ahh ... yes! She perked up. Told me about how Christmas was so special with a four-month-old girl’s coos and giggles.

As I turned to leave, she whipped out her cell phone and held up a photo of her most gorgeous grandbaby.

In our very brief encounter, her spirits had lifted ... and, as often the case, a chance meeting and shared experience regenerated my own spirit as well. I couldn’t help but admire this precious newcomer to our community.

I like to call these chance encounters a “Divine Appointment.” A purposed opportunity to engage person to person. Some argue they don’t have time for such nonsense. Heck! They avoid eye contact expressly to escape “unnecessary conversation” and just get paid for their day!

It is my hope in 2020 that we will all get our heads out of our mobile devices long enough to actually see one another as human beings on a brief journey together – where a smile can certainly make a huge difference on a rainy, rainy day.

Carol McCrite,

Whittier