Give away genuine smiles

On a beautiful spring day in the Hague I was with my daughter in the tram. Three guys stepped into the tram. I noticed they we’re from abroad. Didn’t speak Dutch. Two guys passed and the third appeared. In some magical way, from that moment on, I entered in another dimension. A dimension in which everyone was cheerful, authentic and there was this heartfelt connection between all of us. The magic came from the third guy.

When he saw Amé his face opened; he lifted his eyebrows, his eyes started glittering, his cheeks came up to his ears and there was this big smile curling up his lips. Stunned. I was stunned. In a split second my attention was drawn to where we should get off. It was the stop after the three guys got in. When I pulled the buggy towards the door I thought of asking this third guy for help. Three pair of eyes were already geared towards the door. All of them ready to help out. I asked the third guy.

After letting go of the buggy he looked Amé straight in the eyes: again this open, gentle and smiling face. He waved at her. It was clear that Amé, a baby of almost eight months, had this effect on him. He wasn’t giving away these smiles to every person he passed in the tram. Though I believe this way of connecting to babies would also work with adults. The world would be a far better place to live in when people could make the same connection he did.

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