Friday, January 22, 2010
I happened to read the next paragraphs under "S, for Smiling" in Time Magazine's "Year in Health."
"Comparing pictures of blind judo athletes in the 2004 Paralympics with sighted ones in the Olympics, a psychologist and a photographer found that gold-medal winners, blind or sighted, were more likely to exhibit genuine smiles, engaging the eye muscles, while silver medalists tended to display stiffer social smiles. Having innate roots for smiling bolsters studies showing that not only does mood drive facial expressions but facial expressions, in turn, can change mood. This is why some psychologists urge depressed or angry patients to smile more."
The article put a big smile on my face, especially the "innate roots" sentence. Most of the time, I wear a smile like a piece of clothing ... well, maybe it's more like lipstick ... like eye makeup. It's not a big smile that requires acknowledgment -- no, it's just a small smile so I can look at passers-by, who are are looking at everyone, like I am.
Is it a fake smile? No, when I'm smiling, I feel pleasanter and prettier -- and it delights me when every once in a while someone smiles back.
So why am I writing about it today? Because -- from lots of traveling and dealing with strangers who speak other languages -- from dealing with employees in show biz, (stars and chorus kids) -- from dealing with countless trades-people and officials like police, garbage collectors, plumbers, UPS drivers and Con Edison workers -- you learn to communicate with just about anyone.
AND YOU LEARN TO SMILE. Connect with them, see them, and they connect, and they see you, and they work for you--they work with you better.
They really do. And so do you.
It's practical. And it makes each day, a better, richer, fuller day. It gives me pleasure like the pleasure I get from planting seeds in my window box, and watching for the first sprout. That's a thrill, like the thrill you get when you "click" with someone -- connect, share a space of time, and do the job.
Here's some great quotes:
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." Phyllis Diller.
"Start every day with a smile and get it over with." W.C. Fields.
"Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available." Jim Beggs.
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." Mark Twain.
I think Mark Twain's quote is my favorite. It cheers me up. That's because we're filming another vidcast, and I see my "smile" history on my face.