This might seem like a ridicolous thing to write about, but I find the power of a smile to be amazing.
First of all, on a receiving end, it makes me feel good when somebody takes the time to make eye contact and smile. It's not even something that I often realize is happening to me; but subconsciously, that does A LOT in helping us to feel better about ourselves, our lives, our days.
So naturally, why not flip it around and start doing it to someone else? SMILE at them! Ask how they are, even if you don't really care. Make them feel important. If you have down time and are stuck sitting next to someone while waiting in line, or for an elevator, or a walk light... strike up a conversation. Why not?
This is the most basic premise of "random acts of kindness" and really, the most easy one to achieve.
I'll close with a story... the last several weeks, I've gone into Subway to get a salad every Tuesday as I head into work at a certain Subway that I'm only by on Tuesday's. The first couple of weeks, I noticed an employee who seemed run down, tired, angry, sad... not happy... And so I decided by the third time this was consistent and I should try to make him feel better - let him know there ARE good people and things in the world, and that people DO care. Even if its basic and nothing huge.
So the last few weeks, I've been smiling at him and being very positive and upbeat, and asking him questions. Slowly, he's warmed up. And now, he smiles and is happy and talkative when I come in. Just from taking a few seconds to make him feel like somebody cares.
We interact with people like this every single day without even realizing it. There are situations where we're around people for short amounts of time and we can't avoid that. So next time, instead of saying nothing and looking at your phone or thinking, "not my problem, loser," do the right thing and ask how they are... what's new... talk about the weather... and most of all...