Sunday, 7 August 2016
Start a revolution
Do you feel helpless in the face of terrorism? Do you wish our nation was less full of fear and hatred? Do you wish for a friendlier neighbourhood? Well we are not helpless. We can make a difference!
Let's start a smile revolution! I have noticed increasingly that people don't look at each other any more. We don't meet each other's eyes. We don't smile. We walk along in our individualistic little boxes with our ears blocked by music and our hearts blocked by fear. Oh and the newest one, our eyes blocked by Pokemon Go! If we can block people out this way then it is much easier to fear and then hate the stranger. If it is easier to hate or fear then it is easier to imagine killing them.
But there is another way. Lift up your chins and walk tall. When you pass someone in the street, smile at them. If they smile back, perhaps say 'Good Morning' or 'Nice day, isn't it.' If they look away and don't respond then don't feel rejected and think to yourself 'Well, sod that, I won't smile at them again'. Just think gosh, they are still trapped in fear of the stranger, fear of human contact, poor them.
If you are wasting time in a queue or perhaps on public transport, smile at the person next to you. It might be you can actually have a conversation. It might be they look at you as if you are barking and nervously move away. That doesn't matter. If enough of us start a smile revolution then I am convinced it will spread. If it spreads then we will start to see strangers as people again and people as part of our community. And if we don't choose who to smile at but just include everybody then I am convinced that barriers of sex, of race, of class will start to be broken down.
We are all human beings facing the same issues, the same hopes and dreams, the same fears. Come on, let's smile at our common humanity.
Let us start a smile revolution!