Recently, I traveled to Copenhagen in Denmark to explore the Scandinavian culture. The city is beautiful, clean, and pristine. While there, I noticed a phenomenon that carries through in every place I’ve ever been to in the world that has bodies of water that permeate through the city. While taking a canal tour, we noticed that everyone is all smiles, waving at strangers across the way, and friendly as ever. The moment one comes back to land, it’s back to our guarded, reserved, stoic self.
One would never dream of waving at a perfect stranger while strolling down the sidewalks, especially in a foreign land. Living here in NYC, one would probably get a dirty look and a “I’m not interested in whatever it is you are selling” with a quick stop gesture with the hand. While sight-seeing around the city, I contemplated this very strange phenomenon, and was inspired to bring the friendliness of the sea to the coldness of the land. Imagine if we were all as open and excited to connect with people while walking around the streets of our respective cities. So my intention for this year is to “pay it forward.” Join me in the effort to exchange more smiles along the busy bustling streets of NY. Who knows, with smiling/laughing every time we see people, we may trick our body to release endorphins (the hormone that helps us feel a sense of well-being) and as a result we can be a happier, lighter New York City!
Photo courtesy of Morizo on Flickr.