Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Smile and People Will Smile Back

It is such a simple thing to do, and so rewarding, that I am constantly wondering why isn’t everybody smiling on the streets.
Now I understand that people could be deep in thoughts in their heads, that their mind is occupied with quotidian issues, so I do get it when they don’t actually smile at every single person they meet on the street. In all fairness, imagine downtown Vancouver at 9 o’clock in the morning, when everybody is hurrying to start a new day’s work. I know it’s practically impossible to make eye contact with every person you see, let alone smile to each and every one of them.
Speaking of which, why do we avoid eye contact lately? Why do people of the 21st century avoid making the simplest type of human contact? Yes, we are living in a fast-paced environment where we are bombarded every second with millions of pieces of information, so we kind of tend to tune out as much as we can. Have you see the percentage of people with some form of headset on? I truly hope, for their sake, that they are listening to some relaxing music or inspirational audio book, and not to a different kind of noise to tune out the street noise. But who knows. And I digress.
Back to eye contact. If we were all to make a little effort to first make eye contact and then even smile and say “Hello!” to the people we randomly meet on the streets, the world we live in will just be a little happier. It is the same concept as recycling: we are sharing our positive demeanor in order for other people to re-use it, and then spread it on their own. Think of the ripple of opportunities: I smile and say “Hello!” to, let’s say, four people during my morning coffee walk, and then those four people do the same later on, and those do the same on their own, and so on, so by the end of the day there could be thousands of people who shared and recycled my smile and good spirits. I’m guessing here with thousands as I truly do not have the mathematical brains to understand (let alone attempt to calculate) an exponential function. But hey, at least I know its name (hopefully).
So this is my little message for you for the day: dare to make eye contact more often, force a smile and a quick “Hello!” out of you, and make someone else’s day a bit brighter. And it will eventually become routine. It’s that simple. Not to mention that smiling uses a lot less muscles of your face that frowning (I googled it, it is actually 17 vs. 43 muscles. Wow!)
So, re-use your positive energy and high spirits and spread the word (well, the smile).
Have a happy smiling day, you all!


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