IT’S WHAT YOU SEE
Sunday morning, I had the luxury of reading the Wall Street Journal cover to cover, including the magazine. It had the usual mix of good, bad, and really bad news, along with some well written and thought-provoking editorials.
The magazine portion was devoted to fashion. I wondered why the models look so glum. Blank stares. Superior looks. Bored expressions. No smiles. No joy. No delight in showing off the outrageously priced clothes they are wearing. Benefit of the doubt -- Those skimpy and complicated outfits don’t appear too comfy.
Later in the day I visited the mall and observed the people shopping and roaming. Most wore comfortable looking clothes. And yet, smiles and eye contact were sparse. Even in line for ice-cream, no smiles of anticipation. I did get a hopeful happy smile from an infant being pushed along in her stroller by an iPhone-engrossed adult.
We usually smile when we see friends. It’s instinctive. Why not when we see the harried store assistant? The musician providing sidewalk entertainment? The server who messed up our order. Are our smiles reserved just for friends? Thoreau said, ‘It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.’ Perhaps if we could see more people as potential friends we’d smile more.
We don’t need the wide ear to ear smile. We can’t always be jovial. Just turning up our lips when we see people is enough, it says ‘I’m glad to see you.’ It makes us both feel better.
As for the models? A nice fat hamburger, along with the smile might help. The rest of us – as the old saying goes … remember, your face after 40 is your own fault.
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