“You could have smiled”

This is a story about a little girl who likes to have the window down when she’s sitting in her carseat while her Mummy is driving.  She likes it this way because it allows her to interact with the world as it goes by.  This friendly 4 year old likes to wave and say hello to people from the back seat of her Mum’s car.

Her Mummy likes this too.

Most people wave back and smile.

In her simple child-like way this little girl is giving us a great gift: she is spreading happiness in our world.

One day she waved at an elderly lady.  This lady didn’t wave back.  “That lady didn’t wave at me Mummy.  Why not?” the little girl said with surprise in her voice.

Mummy gave a little talk about how not everybody in the world is happy.

Twenty minutes later, mother and daughter arrive at a cafe to have a little break.  The lady-who-didn’t-wave is there.  Straight away our 4 year old heroine goes over to her, tugs at her sleeve and says “Excuse me?  Why didn’t you wave at me?  I saw you and I waved at you and you didn’t wave back.”

Startled for a moment, the older lady collected herself and then said “Yes, I did see you wave at me.  And I thought that you shouldn’t be doing that.  It’s dangerous.”

“Oh” said the little girl, shocked.  “You could have smiled”, she eventually replied before walking away to resume her happy view of the world.

I love the simple wisdom of children.

Though she is only 4 years old she instantly recognised the negativity and judgement though she wouldn’t know either of those words.

I pray that day by day, more and more of us choose to smile at our children, rather than frown.

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