The once pristine snow had melted to a soupy grey slush that soaked into my shoes and numbed my toes. I stared down at the grey footpath and then up at the sky that threatened to spill over with freezing rain.

Yup. It was grey, too. Everything was grey, including my thoughts. 

It was the winter of my second-to-last year at university. I was wandering morosely over the campus trying to figure out what I should do next. Study? Go to the gym? Do some music practice?  

It all sounded numbingly boring. What I really wanted to do was go hang out with some real people and not just the ancient relics I was discovering in my History class.  

Or get a letter or phone call from someone. Anyone!  

No, what I REALLY wanted to do was figure out what I was going to do with my life.  

Newly returned from a year abroad where there had been plenty of adventure and interesting people … including that nice young man that I had met … on this particular day I was feeling dull, disillusioned, forgotten and lost.  

And I didn’t think I could take many more “grey” days like this one.  

At that moment, one of the women from the music group I was part of, walked past and smiled at me. She didn’t stop or say anything, no hello, no conversation, just a simple smile.  

And that’s all it took.  

Suddenly I felt like I was a member of the human race again.  

Everything around me was still grey. The sun still sulked behind grey clouds and yes, it started to drizzle freezing cold rain.  

But my mind and mood had been lifted by a warm, friendly smile and that made all the difference in the world.  

So as you go through life this year, be it hard and tough or pretty cruisey, please remember to smile at the people you walk past.  

You’ll never know when smiling at someone could make a real difference in their lives.

And the really great thing?  It won’t cost you a cent and it will make YOU feel better.