I'm trying to set an intention to smile a lot more, even when it is painful, or even when I carry some irritation. We all can find something that bugs us, and even when we don’t ….we make some up! It is alarming to see a smiling man, and this morning I was gesturing for another car to go ahead, applying patience and a man waiting for a bus waved back at me. He saw a smile, and me waving…so he waved back, as the car was directly behind him. That made me smile more instead of getting annoyed that my intended target wasn’t him.
Which brings me the idea of intention. How if we proceed in the world with good intentions, there are ripple effects, like people who ignored you… before smile and ask how you are. But getting caught up with expectations in every moment, will also bring suffering when your good intentions are wrought with selfishness. Oftentimes you can smile and great strangers with an open heart, and not see the effects it has in their life. Someone unseen could reap the good fortune. Give it a think. That unknown someone could be nice to your friend, who when inspired by the stranger, might show up at your house with dinner. You benefit from someone else inspired by your ripple. I know from my meditations, which I have said before, help to download my worries and fears daily, thus freeing me up to be spontaneously happy and great the world with a smile more than before. A word of caution if you are smiling to piss off that angry person you encounter everyday(especially while driving), you are not doing it with pure intention. Tonight, while driving to temple a truck behind me had his brights on, and although I really wanted to get out my car at a light and tell him, I had to remind myself, that he just wanted to be happy. I just pointed my mirrors skyward and patiently continued until he left on a turn. It was inconvenient, but was hardly life threatening and my goal is too relax about things you can’t control. So, in this instance by not getting angry, and confronting the person, I, in effect, stopped a potential ripple of anger.