Day 7: The unexpected smile

Nashville has a cool program for “formerly homeless” people; at least, that’s what they aim for and are having much success at. Homeless folks and those who are “formerly homeless” write for and produce a newspaper, and then buy and sell copies of that newspaper. Many have risen out of poverty through this program. They stand on various corners of the city, in the rain and heat, waving at passersby, hoping to make a sale.

Sometimes I buy a newspaper, and sometimes I do not. Not always do I have cash with me, and sometimes I just don’t want to. Yet each time, I look around at those at the stoplight to see what they are doing. Almost every driver has their phone lifted up so they don’t have to make eye contact with the vendor.

I often wonder how much these vendors must long for some type of connection. If not a sale, then a smile, a wave, some recognition that they are there, human, in need of others. Most often, I wave and smile, whether or not I buy a paper. It’s a little connection for the minute I’m stopped there, and it ends up making me smile.

DAY 7 HOMEWORK: Look for someone who may need a smile and a wave. It may be a street cleaner, a barista, or a bus boy. Whoever you find, connect in some way. Maybe you even shock them and ask their name. A human connection will brighten their day, and they’ll brighten yours. 🙂


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