I live in an apartment complex. So there are lots of people that I see constantly coming in and out of the building. I try to be courteous whenever I take the elevator. If somebody is inside the elevator when I take it, I greet them and if I leave first, I wish the other passengers a good night, day or whatever. That is politeness.

We live in the same community and you never know when you may need help or when you could help some neighbor in crisis. Well, there is a lady that I’ve encountered many, many times. I greet her when I get into the elevator or when I see her, I smile courteously. She never answers my greetings and she never smiles back at me. Actually, if she sees me, she even ignores me.

The truth is that I’m not offended by it. I pray that some day she will meet happiness in her life. But I think that her personality is making her miss out in lots of opportunities. I will explain myself.

I have noticed that she doesn’t have a car. I’ve seen her in the bus stop waiting. She has to take public transportation to go anywhere she has to go. I have to tell you that public transportation in Puerto Rico, sucks big time! When I didn’t have a car, I had to develop a lot of patience waiting for the bus for even 2 hours or more. And I’m not even mentioning what happens whenever the bus drivers decide to go into a strike fighting for their rights.

Last week I went with my daughter to an appointment into a shopping mall. It was midday. While we sat, I saw the aforementioned non smiling neighbor there. As always, she saw us but decided to ignore us. My daughter and I did our diligences, had a great time visiting stores, (even if we just window shopped), ate at a McDonalds and just enjoyed ourselves. When we were ready and tired, we got into our little old car and headed back home. It was late in the afternoon.

While my car was entering the parking lot through the electric gate, I saw the non smiling neighbor arriving at the same time. She was walking from the bus stop and still not smiling. She probably had to wait hours for a bus before arriving home. It made me wonder.

If she would’ve been more open to friendships, at least I would’ve been brave enough to offer her a lift so that she wouldn’t have to wait for the bus. Or maybe I’m the one who needs to be braver and not be afraid of being rejected. Experience has taught me that people can be so mean sometimes.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:12-13 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

I pray that someday, I learn to be more brave and that my non smiling neighbor can find happiness and more friends.

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