Hidden Smiles

Here we are. One year from the start of a pandemic that would change the world as we know it. There are so many changes that have occurred that I could write about. However, one negative result from this world-changing event has been so glaringly obvious that I have been moved to write about it.

You must wear a mask. It will protect you from getting the virus. We’ve been hearing these words for a whole year now. Did anyone stop to think about some of the negative results of wearing masks everywhere we go and what can be done to work around some of these issues? Again, many issues. The most disturbing issue that I have been witness to on more occasions than I care to admit is the growing lack of compassion and hospitality.

In the beginning, there didn’t seem to be much of a difference. We learned to see the creases in people’s faces when they were talking or smiling behind the mask. As time has progressed I have noticed, through direct contact and distant observation, that there has been a growing lack of kindness in our society. The extra effort that is needed to extend kindness from behind the mask is just not being taken. I used to walk into just about any place of business and be greeted with kind, welcoming words and a smile (all from behind a mask.) Genuineness and effort at its best. Over the last 12 months, those greetings have dwindled. Rarely do I enter a place of business and get greeted; sometimes not even any eye contact at all. Even walking down the street, I have noticed that people don’t even look at each other anymore. It seems that we are not only being physically distanced, but also socially and emotionally distanced.

I recently had the blessing of visiting “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Pay attention to those words that are in quotes. I can tell you that my experience was definitely not “The Most Magical.” I have visited this place many times in my life, so I have more than just a few experiences to compare to my most recent. Cast members, as the employees are called, are definitely lacking in their “magic.” I was rarely greeted, smiled at, conversed with, offered assistance, etc. Even a “Thank you; have a magical day!” was a rarity when I purchased anything at all. I can’t possibly be the only one that has noticed. It makes me wonder if anyone really even cares. So, I filled out a survey and made my comments, but sit wondering if my few words will make any difference at all.

There is a lot to be said for the impact of facial gestures and cues when in communication with another person. Think about the difference in a conversation that is had via text message vs the exact same conversation that is had in person. If you send someone a text message and that person sends back a laughing or smiling emoji, you can’t actually see them smiling or laughing. You might give a small chuckle, but when you can physically observe these features, it adds so much more to the conversation and the relationship you have with that person. Sadly, not everyone is going to go out and purchase a clear mask or even one with a goofy smile even printed on it.

So, what are the options here? Maybe, just as we’ve unfortunately had to become accustomed to wearing masks, we all just need to be more diligent in our efforts to be kind, compassionate, and hospitable. Yes, it will likely take more effort, but the masks also cause us to use more effort to breathe and we’re all doing that just fine. Friends, be aware of how you treat others. Watch how someone responds differently to you when you just look at them as you walk by and even give a nod, or extend a short greeting. Be intentionally kind. I guarantee it will make someone’s day, and likely improve yours too.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea Miller
    Mar 15, 2021 @ 17:23:36

    Really great thoughts honey…many of us are thinking alike, now maybe a few more.


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