There is a man, who I see nearly every day, usually when I’m walking from the language center to my bus stop. The area is constantly clogged with traffic, an intersection between two extremely busy roads. People are hurrying here and there, taxis honking, vendors making a hissing sound to catch anyone’s attention and sell just about anything you can imagine.
There is a little, triangular median at the traffic light, and that’s where he usually sits. As I cross the road, looking both ways in case a motorcycle decides to come the opposite way I’m expecting, I see him wheeling his chair past. There are a lot of people with wheelchairs or crutches in this area. Sometimes I’ll see a person guiding a blind friend or family member toward a taxi to ask for money. There are lots of mothers with little children, but I always notice this man. He’s different.
Even if he sees me passing from a distance, he always has a smile to throw my way. I know that it’s not just me he smiles at. I often see him smiling or laughing with someone as he pushes himself over the rough sidewalks, and I wonder why he seems so happy. Even his eyes seem to twinkle and smile.
My day never fails to brighten when I see him and tell him hello. It reminds me how powerful a smile can be. It makes me wonder… if I walked around with a smile and easy greeting on my lips, would people wonder what is different about me? Would they be curious about my life over something as simple as a smile?