A few summers ago, I was walking in London’s Hyde Park with my husband and two children, ages 14 and 24, when I observed the most extraordinary thing…people smiling as they walked by.
I stopped and let myself observe this phenomenon…smiling…occurring in a busy metropolis where walking down the sidewalk can be a fend-for-your-life experience. People day in and day out trying to get to their destination with little notice of anyone else, much less taking the time to look up from their phones to connect or be kind to a passing stranger.
But in the park, this was not so. In the park, people were looking around. They stopped to observe ducks waddling into the water and laughed at their feathered antics. They admired the perfect imperfection of Black-eyed Susans in bloom. They looked up at the sky, sat on the lawn, let the sun shine down on them. I felt that they were for a moment really part of everything…connected to nature, and they were smiling.
In 2019, at BUDHAGIRL’s Dallas headquarters, I will encourage a daily walk outside for everyone at the office, and once a week we will do so as a group. Believe me, when I suggested this idea, eyes rolled back in their sockets. No one said anything, but felt that it was one of Jessica’s crazy ideas…
Well…look who is smiling now.