In today’s world of technology we do not have ample opportunity to get personal. Life is fast-paced and everyone seems to be in a rush. We dial the phone and we talk to machines. We spend long hours on the computer playing games, emailing one another or working with our web pages. Even in the office environment, we email the person in the cubicle 3 feet away instead of walking over to hand them a task list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I cannot imagine ever being without my computer and am guilty of spending a large part of my day working on line. The computer and Internet afford many opportunities. Now at no charge outside of my Internet connection I can communicate with persons all over the world. If screened carefully young people have a world of education available at their fingertips. I could continue to expound on the many benefits that technology has brought into our lives. However, that is not the gist of this article.
As a result of the technological age of today’s world, our personal touch with one another is decreasing. We need to take full advantage of the opportunity to be personal. Humans are becoming strangers to one another. People are in a hurry to get on with the business of living and walk past each other on the street without even a nod.
Have you wondered why there is so much clinical depression in the world today? Ask yourself why our young people are so distressed. Why so many of them attempt suicide or worse the murder of their classmates or families. Do you conclude as I do that we need more of a personal touch?
Have you taken notice to how you felt when you were standing in line at a bank and someone turned and smiled at you. Prior to that smile you were feeling very anxious, possibly tapping your foot in impatience. You weren’t very happy to be there waiting in a long line. You had things to get done and you were getting more frustrated by the minute. It was one of the mundane drudgeries we all have to go through. Then comes this smile from the person in the line next to you and suddenly you feel much better. You are compelled to smile back. You do so without giving it thought, as though it is a natural inclination to reciprocate the smile.
Think about it, don’t you feel compelled to smile back when someone smiles at you? Doesn’t if lift your mood, and bring you out of a frustrated frame of mind? But that smile does so much more than that. It makes you feel accepted and liked. Somebody cares, and shares the things you go through. It makes you part of a group, a integral part of the human race. If you do not think that our society is like that, do research into why our young people join gangs. The kids will tell you they are seeking to belong, to be a part of something. The gang becomes an extension of the family.
There is power in the smile, you see. It’s as though that instant someone waved a wand and all the drudgery disappeared. You suddenly feel warm and responsive and the person who offered you a smile has just gone from a stranger to be wary of to a kind person. Sometimes a conversation is started and now the mundane drudgery has actually become an enjoyable experience. You no longer feel frustrated and rushed and start enjoying yourself. The world is now warm and fuzzy instead of cold, fearful and bitter.
I do not mean to imply that giving and receiving a smile is the solution to the world’s problems, but it is a very good place to start. We all need to feel that sense of belonging. We are after all members of the same human family. We should feel moved to embrace each other in our hearts and minds.
So go ahead and smile. I dare you. But be careful. You might find the world a friendlier place to live. You might find that people are warm and kind and appreciative. Your smile might just make their day.