Grinning Idiot

Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
The Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac demonstrates the correct posture to avoid neck pain and possible spinal deformity. Did people think him an idiot?

I was talking with a young man of my acquaintance about the fact that I have a horrible suspicion that people at work think that I am an idiot.

“Because I smile all the time and am pleasant to everyone I think people think I am an idiot” says I.

“I feel your pain brother,” says he, “It is the same with me at my work…except I don’t smile and am not pleasant.”

Well…at least he was honest.

Anyhoo…What is wrong with being smiley and pleasant? I have found that the general rule of thumb seems to be that “Mature adults” are expected to be “serious”. We are supposed to use circumspection and dish out our smiles with discernment, like there is some sort of smile rationing in place. If you show interest in everyone then you lack the adult skills to know who is worthy of your attention and who deserves your pleasantries.

All rather selfish really.

My basic premise in life is that I am grateful to anyone who is willing to give me a little of their time to share a bit of their lives with me. I don’t expect people to like me or feel I am doing someone a great favour by deigning to take an interest in them. I have a reasonably important position at work and I have been genuinely astonished occasionally to realise that some people seem to think it a favour that I talk to them. The reality is I just love chatting with people and never think about what their “status” is. If I smile and you smile in return, then you are alright with me. Share a laugh, or a serious moment with someone and you are part of a very special connection. If it is the head of the company or the cleaner, if the conversation is genuine then it is the best sort of day to day contact. How many people spend their time artificially trying to make connections with the “right people” and lose the chance to just enjoy a moment with another human being? That repellent term “networking” is something I despise. You “connect to get” and the whole principal is all about what you make out of the encounter. Bleck!!!!

You may not agree with everyone or find someone else’s interests to your specific taste, but if someone trusts you enough to share a spontaneous personal moment, happy or sad, then you can never be so arrogant as to believe you deserved to be in that moment.

I thank all those who think me worth sharing a moment with and often wonder that they bother. Perhaps they find my ideas contrary to their’s or my interests dull. But I can at least smile and be pleasant and if they choose to enrich my day then I think myself damned lucky.

So, “Smile on!”, I say,

and if people think you an idiot,

well “More fool they”.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Bloody hell! I grin more NOW than ever. The way I see it, is give’em something to talk about and make ’em wonder what I’ve been up to. Perhaps they’l think that the advancing years are more fun than they ever imagined! Signed, a 60 year old grinning girl! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was checking out at the grocery store an hour or so ago and looked to my right for no particular reason. A woman with short grey curls caught my eye; she smiled a genuine smile that made me smile as well. The world will be a better place if we pass on the smiles instead of being serious all the time. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. Keep smiling, TJ.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a bright and wonderful post, TJ!! Not that I have an impressive position in the world, nor am I that impressive as a person, but since I’m still on earth God must have a good purpose for me. Yet I’ve discovered, sadly, that the world has become consumed with terror; that people are so fearful, suspicious and on guard, as to view “friendliness” as suspect. When I’m out and about, I tend to have a small-town mentality–easily striking up pleasant conversation with strangers. Some days it just doesn’t pay rewards–and it escapes me, how a short-fat-frumpy woman over 60 can appear scary and dangerous! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dear! I am sure you do yourself a great injustice. In a world saturated with “Plastic people” we should value anyone who is the “real deal”. I agree that everyone is suspicious these days but if a genuine person like yourself gets suspicious looks well then that is other people’s problems. At my work all the students are super tall (probably as a result of having lavished upon them huge quantities of expensive and nutritious foods by their well off and doting families). I am 6 foot but I have to take public transport just to feel tallish. Just think! In Japan you will never risk bumping your head on lintels, you won’t be cramped in airlines or require special extra long mattresses. Height is seriously over-rated. And I am sure that 60 is the new 40 so don’t despair. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My husband emigrated from Eastern Europe to the USA. Culturally, if you walk around with a smile on your face, they really do assume you are mentally deficient. (With modern city dwellers allowing you might just be an American.)

    I’m the sort of person who likes to share with every counter clerk and make a human connection to restaurant servers… My husband finds it very odd. He knows I’m not am idiot, though.

    I’m bound and determined to make the world at least a little bit nicer, however, so I’ll look as foolish as need be. If I cheer up even one stranger, I’m satisfied!

    Smile on, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! Funny how smiles can be seen as odd in some cultures. Most Aussies are pretty friendly still fortunately so a smile isn’t hard to find. 🙂

      Like

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