Archive for October, 2012

A mantra for living

October 13, 2012

“A mantra for living: look at people in the eyes and smile,” I think to myself walking home on a cool and breezy Friday afternoon. This is what people need, fundamentally, more smiles from random strangers, their community. What better therapy for a cynical, fearful world? Instant connection that is free and plentiful, from every day people in the here, and now. When you flash a smile at a passer-by, they usually reciprocate, it’s infectious, hard to resist, and it makes people feel good about themselves. A smile humanizes people, making them known quantities, not zombies moving through public space. It’s very simple technology and would go a long way to create and nurture a sense of community. Thinking of Amanda Todd, a 15-year old BC teenager who recently took her own young life after years of enduring bullying. 15 is too young an age to endure anything. She turned to technology, social media, for help. Her cries for help using flash cards on You Tube helped her not one wit. They fell on deaf ears and did not save her. She was no doubt in want of more smiles, acknowledgement and acceptance from her peers. Social media influences the way we interact, creating virtual communities and stunting distance between loved-ones. But it also leaves us vulnerable and isolated. A virtual smile is a poor cousin to one directed in real time. Yes, Amanda, needed more smiles. We are all responsible. We can contribute to the kind of world we want to foster. Smiles can trump heads, shoulders, and above all spirits, hung low. This is for Amanda, may she rest in peace, and may we all smile more!