I Believe in the Importance of a Friendly Gesture

Christopher - Macungie, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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In the world I live in, I am just a normal guy. I don’t try to change the world in drastic measures, mostly because I am pretty laid back and I deal with things as they come to me. This, however, doesn’t change the way I feel about helping other people. Sometimes I may not be having a good day, and I feel as if the world is against me, but regardless, I try my best to help others in anyway I can. This is why I believe in the importance of a friendly gesture.

Each day, I make an effort to try to brighten up a person’s life, even if it’s in the simplest way possible. Something as small as picking up someone’s belongings when they accidentally drop them on the floor or flashing a friendly smile at a gloomy face shows the same kindness and respect I have for them as I have for myself.

Recently, when I was going to class at my college, I noticed that a woman walking behind me had accidentally dropped all over the walkway a bunch of loose papers that she had been carrying with her. She then began to pick them up all by herself. I looked to see if anyone close to her was going to help her out, but no one made any move in her direction; people kept on walking, ignoring the woman’s dilemma completely while talking on cell phones. Now, from a very young age I can recall many sayings that impacted my life dramatically: the golden rule which is, “Do unto others as they would do unto you”, from when I was in the Boy Scouts, “To help other people at all times”, and the fairly common saying, “Do a good turn daily”. With these three in mind, I turned around and helped the woman pick up her belongings. She thanked me, and then went on her way. I decided to help her because I felt that it was the right thing to do; if something like this would have happened to me, wouldn’t I want someone to help me out also?

Another time, I was working as a cashier at the Trexlertown GIANT grocery store. At one point during my shift, a certain man came through my line and didn’t seem to be having a very good day; he had a sort of gloomy look to his eyes with grim facial expression. It’s required for the employees to be polite and courteous to the customer, even if the customer is the most unpleasant person one has ever met. I’m supposed to greet the customer with a smile and thank them as they are leaving. In reality, most of the other cashiers don’t even try to do this; they all want to be anywhere but at their jobs! Nonetheless, I gave the man a smile and greeted him in a friendly tone. It took a second, but he then returned that smile and kindly greeted me back. Sometimes I find my job boring too, and I’d rather be somewhere else, but I try to greet each customer with a smile on my face. I don’t do this because my job says that I’m supposed to, I do it because it seems to make the person feel a little better for that brief moment. How much simpler a gesture can I give to someone than a friendly smile?

From these things, I have learned that doing something for the sake of others, even at a cost to me, is how I want to live my life. The things I do don’t even have to be that extravagant. Something as small as a friendly smile to a person passing me in the hallway, or if I offer to help a struggling individual with their things are all important to me. Friendly gestures are important because they show people a certain kindness and respect for them and because they help to make other people’s lives easier in the process. If we all would do this more often, then the world would be an even happier place to live in than it is now.