Who smiles these days?

We spent Saturday in the Magic Kingdom to celebrate my granddaughter’s thirteenth birthday. It was also the fortieth birthday celebration for the Magic Kingdom! As you might imagine, there were huge crowds, much like the holidays. It was our intent to leave early, as we had spent prior day at the park with our son and his girlfriend, celebrating her birthday!

Instead of hitting rides with the kids, we opted to wait and engage in some good old fashioned people-watching. There we were, in one of the happiest places in the world, and hardly anyone was smiling! The main intent of the masses seemed to be rushing from one ride to another, missing nothing; get their money’s worth, I suppose. Hardly anyone made eye contact, and when they did, eyes quickly darted off toward an assumed destination. Very few were smiling; many little ones were outright crying!

I took the time to chat with a ‘cast member’. She was smiling! I guess it’s their job to smile, but not everyone in costume sported a big grin! When my grandchildren and their parents returned from their ride, they had big smiles when they saw the fast passes we had collected for them! Kids don’t like to stop for anything when it comes to having fun, but they were amiable enough to have lunch; no big smiles but no frowns either. I’ll take that as a win!

When concentrating, the corners of my mouth go down, which is quite unfortunate as I have a great smile! For all intent and purpose, it would appear that I’m frowning! When a good friend brought that to my attention, I was horrified! It takes a concerted effort for me to make sure I’m not frowning when listening intently to anyone. I have to think about smiling! Even when I’m having a good time, I sometimes have to tell my face!

At church this morning, most people were not smiling, but our good pastor, Father Tony Quinlivan delivered a humorous sermon and by the end of it, many had smiles on their faces. After church, we hit the local Wal-Mart and as you probably are guessing, no smiles there either. It was really busy too! Grocery aisles were jammed and no one wanted to move. When someone allowed me through, I’d smile and say, “thank you.” A few returned a cursory smirk but no big grins or intelligible “your welcomes.” I wonder if I can really make a difference.

I know that if nothing changes, nothing changes. Now that I’m more aware of it, I’m going to make a real effort to smile, greet people and make sure my face exhibits that I’m enjoying life. Maybe you’ll try too. If enough people really do make an effort, in time we may become a smiling society!

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