Just One Look

A look speaks more truth than what our mouths desire to say.

It was one sunny October afternoon, as I was lazily waiting at a bus stand and aimlessly gazing at all the cars that whizzed past me. I couldn’t help but notice a young woman also waiting at a bus stand parallel to where I was standing. Her head hung low, allowing her pretty brown hair to fall against her cheeks. Unlike me, the busy streets around her did not seem to budge or interest her at all. A few minutes later, a young man was walking toward her bus stop. He also had his head bowed down, busily tapping away on his phone. He then looked up and noticed the young woman, and immediately, he started to adjust his scarf around his neck. I chuckled. It was one look, and only one, and this young man wanted to make a good impression in front of the young woman. As the man neared the stand, the girl looked up and noticed the handsome fellow. She then straightened her back, pushed back her shoulders and fixed the collars on her leather jacket. I chuckled again – I was getting excited, merely because you don’t get to witness a connection like this at a bus stop in a busy city. Imagine explaining to your kids: “and that is how I met your dad, sweetie – we shared a look at a bus stand, and I knew he was the one right then and there.” All jokes aside – as this cheesy scene was playing in front of my eyes, I couldn’t help but be awed by the fact that two complete strangers can feel compelled to leave a lasting impression on each other, even if they may never see each other again. It only took one look.

On another day, I was sitting in the waiting room of a clinic. Children’s toys were strewn everywhere, toddlers were running around half-naked, and babies were crying restlessly. There was one child who was particularly playful and loud – I wasn’t bothered one bit, but several other adults threw irritated glances at the child’s mother. Even though I have no children of my own, I felt sympathetic towards the mother – just because a child is having fun doesn’t mean that he is misbehaving or that is being poorly disciplined. Hence, to show empathy, I looked at the mother and expressed a warm smile, with a small nod. In human definition, it means “don’t worry, you’re not a bad parent.” Immediately, the mother’s face lightened up and she returned a thankful smile. It only took one meaningful look and an encouraging smile to show empathy and love to a stranger that needed it.

A look can change everything – it can heal people, transform situations, allow relationships to blossom, and turn a frown into a smile.

All it takes is just one look.

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