Tomorrow Americans will be choosing their president. Politics screams out from every venue, every medium and website. I don't know about you, but I've decided I need a break. I'm tired of it and I don't even vote in this country. For this one day I choose to focus on the good things in life. What I like about living in America rather than what annoys me. Yes, people here seem to be flying off the handle as the day to decide comes, are probably more divided, angry and dismissive than I've seen before, but I'd like to remind you how giving, loving and open minded they can be. Especially in Florida. It starts with wishing a stranger a good day. A friend from Washington DC observed that back home he wouldn't dream about saying a word to a person he didn't know or starting a conversation on a bus. But then, I had similar sentiments after living most of my life in Warsaw. Everybody is distant, everybody is angry, nobody looks you in the face. It's only appropriate to interact with those in your circles. Work, school, friends, family. Isn't that limiting? Everyone feels so relaxed in Florida, I guess that's what they call Southern mentality. People pass you by and smile asking how your day is and smile. You smile back and respond. Do they really care about how things are with you? Probably not. Every day I smile and nod at more people than I can remember. I'm not going to lie, most of them don't leave a lasting impression. But for that one second it takes to notice another human being we're taken out of our little universe. Things we need to do, errands and shopping lists. The sun is shining, it's a great day and you just had a nice exchange. It will not change your life, but it's a little boost of positive energy. Kindness- pay it forward. I find it strange when I read that a bus driver in Warsaw gets national press coverage for using the microphone to wish passengers a good day. Everybody is so used to them not wanting to be bothered, shutting doors on people, sometimes even driving away. In Gainesville I get a hello and thank you every time. How could you accept anything less as normal? I think I may have written about it before, but when my mom was in town a girl stopped on the street to compliment her on the street. This is America that I love. Where people are considerate and kind. Please don't lose it. Please don't get so caught up in your resentment of each other's politics that you forget what made you great. Because come Wednesday morning everybody will have to focus on mending broken relationships. No matter how this ends someone will be angry and there's just no good way out of this. So, for now, it's Tuesday. Smile at a stranger and relax. Have a great day everyone.
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