I know a little more now. It isn't just the elderly who need a smile and a hello. It's the young mum who is out for a desperate walk, whose little ones are delightful and precious, but with whom conversation is limited and whose partner won't be home for hours and hours, or perhaps is navigating family life independently. It's the guy in the street who's boss yelled at him all morning and hasn't heard a friendly word from anyone. It's the school teacher who has been talking all day to noisy kids, or the nurse who asked everyone else how they are, but was never asked the same back.
Loneliness is turning up as a big concern in the media a lot at the moment, and it's something we need to be thinking about. Our society has become one permeated with suspicion and one where keeping your head down and eyes on your phone can see like the normal way to interact with the world. But these are active choices and we can make different ones.
Join the Campaign
There's a campaign going on across Birmingham, UK at the moment called Permission to Smile which is about this small, tiny thing we can all do to make our world a little friendlier, just a bit smilier. Bring in just a little more sunshine. There are other, bigger things to get involved in, but here's something to begin with today. And if the other person is wearing Lucy and Yaks, then I think there's permission for a high five too!