Lately, I've been noticing the people around me every day -- my peers who stroll by, people racing to get to their next meeting, and friends that I may not talk too much, but I always wonder if they see me when I walk by them. And you know what else I've noticed?

I've noticed the people that smile easily. I've also noticed those who do not. I've seen who rushes by in a hurry, and who pulls out their phone when they see someone they are acquainted with approaching.

As I began noticing that most people that I walk by don't acknowledge a stranger passing them, it occurred to me that I was one of those people too. I didn't always say hi, or offer a warm gesture to those in passing.

But why not? Why wasn't I doing such an effortless action?

Was I too uncomfortable with a stranger? Was I too insecure with myself to give out a slight gesture? Talking about it seems effortless - "Yeah, smiling to others, acknowledging others, it is easssyy." But I really don't do it. Not enough at least. Now though? I really want to make that change.

Because this past week, the strangers that have smiled brightly to me have made me feel like I had something to offer to this world.

They brightened up my day and I don't even know who they are.

And now, I want to return the feeling. But I get it. It seems like such a phenomenon. Such an "out of this world" task. But ask yourself this:

"Doesn't it feel good when someone greets you as you walk by them? Doesn't it feel great to receive a real, warm smile from a stranger? Don't you feel valued?"

I am going to guess the answer is yes.

So let's do it.

The next time you are passing someone, hold your head high, take a breath, and smile at them. Show as many people as you can that they are important too. And I bet you, you'll feel just as important. Because you are.