The janitor who cleans the tissue culture room in the lab walks up to me. He hands me the sheet of paper with a broad smile on his face. Nothing unusual. He does this every day. I take the sheet and put down my signature to confirm that he did his part.
I smile back and say “Thank You!” He returns the gesture and nods back, not understanding what I said but understanding what I meant.
There’s a language barrier. He only speaks the regional tongue which I can barely understand. Everyday this signing process happens exactly the same way. Every afternoon we smile and nod at each other, unable to communicate but appreciating each other’s roles. I have grown fond of this routine. My ‘Thank Yous’ are heartfelt and honest. His Smile to me is sincere.
When I am in the culture room and he’s cleaning, he makes way for me and ensures that he doesn’t come in my way. He smiles and gestures me to pass…With the same pleasing smile he holds on to the mop and continues with his work. If I have to walk around on the wet floor (which I try to avoid as much as I can!), I say my ‘Sorry’ with a distressed expression but he doesn’t get frustrated. He smiles to convey it’s alright and he understands it’s not intentional. He mops the floor again.
We meet everyday. We communicate in the same mute manner. He is special to me. He works hard and he does his job well. And he inspires me to work hard with a smile on my face, no matter how trying the situation is!
“A Warm smile is the Universal Language of Kindness.” – William Arthur Ward
“A smile is the Light in your Window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” Denis Waitley
“You’ll find that life is still Worthwhile if you just Smile!” – Charles Chaplin