The Power of a Smile

January 27, 2009

This afternoon I had a great lunch meeting with my good friend and former colleague Alex Baydin.  Al’s the CEO of Performline.  He and his team are having a great start to their year, and we had a great “catch up” lunch.  I was in the best mood after I left our meeting.  It always gets me fired up to see good people doing big things-  kudos to the Performline team.

On my way back downtown to the office, I was feeling energized. I called my wife and then hopped onto the 1 train back down to Houston Street from 23rd.  When I sat down I saw an older, somewhat downtrodden black gentleman sitting directly across from me.  He had slumped shoulders and was looking down at the ground.  I had a smile on my face, and when he picked up his head and made eye contact with me – of course I offered this gentlemen a smile.  He immediately sat up straight, smiled back and pulled out a pad and pencil – and began to sketch me.

A few people sitting around us realized what was happening and started to smile.  I looked at them and said “I guess I should keep smiling”…they laughed and the gentleman continued to sketch.  We stopped at 18th, then 14th, – the person who had been sitting next to me got off and smiled at us both.  A new person got on at 14th and sat next to me – when she realized what was happening she smiled and we both chuckled a bit.  When we got to Christopher street you could see his 

img00034-20090127-1909drawing come together – I was getting off at the next stop so I stood up next to the gentleman and placed my hand on his shoulder .  I held my hand on him, leaned down and said “that looks great”…a woman next to me prepared to get off at the same stop said “is that supposed to be you”?  I said ” I believe so” and with that the man signed the sketch, ripped it off his clipboard and handed it to me over his shoulder with a smile.  I took it, said thank you smiled back – and got off the train.

Behold the power of a Smile.  You gotta love New York City – and you gotta love life.

Check it out:

Advertisements