I used to meet a woman with a dog each morning as I walked to work. Since this was happening on a daily basis, I eventually felt it was the polite thing to do to greet her as she walked by. The woman didn’t return the greeting. I continued to greet her each morning for a number of weeks and she continued to ignore me. One day when I’d obviously got out of the wrong side of bed and was feeling a bit moody, as I saw her coming I told myself: OK, she never says hello anyway, so today I’m also not going to say hello. As I walked passed her in silence with my eyes down, I heard her say: “Gruezi” (“Hello” in Swiss German). Totally taken by surprise, I smiled and turned excitedly to shout gruezi back!
I had learnt an important lesson: always believe, never give up, keep smiling, keep being positive even when you don’t see the result immediately. Changes may be going on at a deeper level and might take time to surface. The woman now even smiles back at me – although it took some time for that additional leap forwards. After the first time she said gruezi to me, she more or less greeted me each morning, however always with a serious face. Only months later, did the word hello come with a smile, but it did happen, and continues to happen.
Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”