Do you believe in vibrations?
Do you believe in energy?
For everybody who knows me knows that I love seeing people happy. I personally don’t think that I just love seeing people happy. I think that I am, in a sense, addicted to seeing people happy. Just like people who are addicted to substances because of the feeling that it gives them, I am addicted to the feeling that I get when I am around happy people. Its an even greater feeling knowing that I am the one that put that smile on their face. My addiction started a long time ago but there was one year in particular that something amazing hit me. A feeling that led to an idea that eventually turned into an action.
 I was stationed in Hawaii on the island of Oahu in 2008. It was a huge culture shock for me. Coming from a man who had never left the city of Tampa, Florida and had never been far from friends and family, it was really hard for me. To cope with being so far away with no knowledge of the culture, no help, and placed in a unit of “hard asses” that got their jollies off by making me feel as out of place as they could. Shortly after I arrived to the island I was to be joined with my unit that deployed shortly before my graduation of basic training and AIT. At the end of 2009, I grew comfortable with a lot of my brothers in arms and moved off post. If you haven’t ever been to Hawaii, you will quickly learn that there is one military installation for every military branch located on that single island. So early mornings were extremely rough dealing with the traffic before the first formation. I would have to wake up at 3 am everyday to get to work on time and even then, I had to wake up even earlier to be able to find a good parking space. One thing about me, back then, is that I was never a morning person. So for me to wake up I had to “fake the funk”! I would jam out in the car on the ride to work. I would jog to my quad after I parked a quarter mile away and then I would joke around until formation. All so that I could eventually be awake before our PT session. Not everybody enjoyed it but I did notice that regardless of the frustration that they had for me, most people had smiles on their faces and it made me feel good to see. Everyday I would follow the same routine. I would say “Good morning”, get a smile. Say “Good morning”, get a smile. Eventually when I was crossing the street, I would have people beat me to the punch screaming “GOOD MORNING RIVERA!!!!” and that made me feel even better. Before I got out of the army, I made it a habit to run up to the third floor of my battalion and stand on the balcony and scream as loud as I could “GOOD MORNING E QUAD” and surely I would get a bunch of “F you Rivera!!! Its too early for this!!” all while having a smile on their faces. I started incorporating “Good mornings” with every interaction of my life regardless of the time of day it was. I would make sure that the first encounter with an individual would start with saying “Good morning” and I would start every interaction with a smile.
I don’t know what people are going through. I don’t know what stresses that they have had throughout the day. I don’t know if somebody is going through a depression, just got laid off work, just lost a friend or family member or anything else that would cause pain to them and the last thing that I wanted to do was to add to that negative feeling. Sure, I have the weird looks. I have the confused faces and the random looking at the wrist whether the individual had a watch on or not, but naturally they would all react with a smile. So regardless if the smile was intentional or not, I was still able to bring up a positive greeting. Ever since that realization, I have grown to actually embrace and invite talking to people, whether they are friends, family, associates, co-workers and especially strangers. Who knows. Maybe giving somebody a reason to smile can possibly save a life. Who knows? Maybe you have already saved a life. There are endless ways of putting a smile on somebodies face. Find one and spread as many as you can because we all know that this world needs more happiness. More peace. It all starts by one, contagious SMILE!

One thought on “Goodmorning!

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