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Extending A Lilac Branch To A Stranger

, , , | Friendly | September 22, 2020

I’ve worked customer service my whole life. As a result, smiling at people is so ingrained into my nature that I smile at everyone out of reflex nowadays.

One day, I’m walking home after getting some necessities in town. It is a tough time for me. I only got a low-wage job too far from my real home so I have to share living in another town with a friend and I only see my husband on weekends. Money is always tight and while my job is great, my bosses suck, and life is overall just miserable and I can’t see it getting any better anytime soon.

While I’m walking down the street lined with nice one-family homes on my way to my shared flat, I see an elderly woman standing on the walkway cutting some branches from her lilac tree which is in full bloom. She looks up at me, and out of routine, I smile at her, nodding, as a greeting.

She smiles back.

I’m passing her and think nothing of it, but before I can go on, she steps in my way.

Woman: “Excuse me, miss.”

I turn back to face her.

Woman: “A smile like yours can open doors. You’ll see, a very lucky life is waiting for you!”

With those words, she handed me the branches she’d just cut from her tree, gathered those she’d cut before from the walkway, took her stuff, and headed back inside.

I smiled a little longer. Life was just so miserable at that moment that I didn’t believe her, but she had just gifted me my favorite flowers and made my day brighter.

But it turned out she was right. Not soon after, my constant job hunt earned me a great job above minimum-wage where I could work remotely, so I was able to move back home. Money isn’t so tight anymore and life is much better than I’ve ever dreamt, even if it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

If you’re in a tight spot, don’t give up on yourself. Keep smiling at people. Even if it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to get better, there’s always a chance someone will gift you at least a little happiness now and then, if you just gift them your smile.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

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Read the Feel Good roundup for September 2020!