Hey, I like your t-shirt

On kindness and connection with strangers.

I have a favourite t-shirt. It is grey and has colourful dinosaurs on it. Every time I wear it, I feel fun and playful.

It seems like I'm not the only person who likes it. Every time I wear it, someone will always tell me how much they like my t-shirt. Generally it's a person in a shop, a stranger on the street—there is something about the t-shirt that draws people to comment on it.

I love that they love it as much as I do. I love that it made them smile and brought a sense of whimsy to their day. I love that it inspired a connection between strangers. (And if you're wondering, yes, I do tell strangers that I like what they're wearing and have had some great conversations as a result.)

In a big city like Melbourne, people can often keep to themselves. I'm someone who smiles at people I pass when I go for a walk, and often people will avert their eyes. But I keep doing it, because sometimes they smile back.

You never know what is happening in someone's life. They could be feeling sad, lonely, isolated. A friendly smile could be the thing they need that day to boost their mood.

Sometimes I have been in the middle of a bad day, and a warm-hearted 'hello' has helped me—a moment of kindness that says 'hey, isn't this being human thing hard sometimes? But we're all in this together and you'll get through whatever it is you're going through'.

We are heading into the holiday season where we are fed the message that we should all be experiencing joy, fun and togetherness. Yet, this is a time that can cause a lot of stress, anguish and loneliness for people.

With this in mind, think about how you can be a spot of love and kindness for those you come in contact with.

It can be as simple as telling them you like their t-shirt.

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