I'm not so confident smiling in front of people I've just met, and I have a hard time trying to talk to the elderly because my voice is naturally soft and low. When I looked at my peers to see how they were doing, and one thing I noticed was that all my peers were smiling, even if they weren't talking.
I decided to try smiling instead of trying to talk. Instantly, I got a reaction from Maria, the person I was doing a makeover for. She turned to me with a smile and said "Veo tu sonrisa niña mia," which roughly translates to "My little girl, I see your smile."
In Spanish, there are words that people use as a way of affection for a person younger than them, such as "niña mia," "joven," etc. After hearing her say that, I got the feeling of relief and felt accepted by her.
This showed me that a smile can truly go a long way.
- Selena M., GG volunteer in Manhattan