The lost art of smiling.
She sees me almost everyday as she focuses intently on her beautiful garden. It’s a pretty garden. I wonder what else she does besides gardening. I smile. She looks away. That was months ago. I’ve made the effort countless times since then and she has declined to reciprocate that many times.
Why have we stopped smiling as a society?
Have we stopped smiling? Did we ever smile at each other?
Perhaps I missed the memo. After all, I’m still figuring out how to be North American every single day. Today I learned that “porn theatres” used to exist around here. PORN THEATRES WHERE PEOPLE WENT TO WATCH PORN. I’m clearly still processing this information. Apparently, I’m the only one out of a room of 9–10 people who finds this information rather unsettling.
Anyways, back to that smiling thing. What are we so afraid of? Why are we afraid of engaging in this simple act of acknowledgement, the most sincere gesture that says, “hey, I see you human- look at us, made of the same flesh and blood, chasing after almost the same things, just wanting to be happy, I see you”. That’s how much a simple smile can say. If you ever wanted to practice the simplest act of being a decent human being, start with a smile.
I grew up in a community where you couldn’t possibly walk down the street or go anywhere without running into people and no matter how many people you came across on your path, you smiled. There was no questioning whether you should or you shouldn’t, whether you knew them or you didn’t, you just did!
So, until I solve this mystery of why people don’t smile at each other or did they ever do such in this society I currently live in, I will keep smiling at this gardening-obsessed neighbour of mine until she gives in and smiles.
Until then, keep smiling!