Why don't strangers smile?

"I made a new best friend today", my 7 yo proclaimed to me after she finished her first day at a new summer camp. 

"Her name is Olivia and she has a sister and I made friends with another girl named Addison, but she goes by Addy".

Do you remember the innocent days? Yeah, I don't either, but they were there.

The days when we could meet someone without a judgmental bone in our body and we were just open to friendship and camaraderie and love.

What would the world be like right now if we, as adults, could as effortlessly accept new people into our lives with open arms.

But we can't. We've been jaded, burned and hurt. We've had our fair share of gossip, that we have both been on the giving and receiving end of.

Do you smile at a stranger when they pass you by? Have you ever noticed how many people don't look you in the eye and smile?

If you don't know someone, it's so intimidating to go up to them and even offer our names - it's an extension of our fear and self doubt. What will this person think of me? How will they react to me? What if I am rejected?

My 7 yo doesn't worry about that. She gives herself freely and openly with curiosity and engagement of the people around her.

Wouldn't it be great to be 7 again? Can you imagine giving yourself without judgment. Picture approaching people without fear and self-doubt. How would your world be different?

I think we would all be just a bit happier and a bit more free. Give of yourself what you want to get in return. Offer a smile and a hello - likely the person you're speaking to is just as nervous as you are to step forward and take a leap of faith.

Show up truly and authentically and let people see the beauty, strength and wisdom you have to share. The world is waiting for your gifts.

Go ahead, make a new best friend today.