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09      Smile

It was quite a ride to Manhattan. Right between Roosevelt Island and Lex, there was a voice coming out of a man, asking people for money (obviously), if not, a smile (what?!). At first we thought he must have been crazy to think that we could grab some change out of our pockets and hand it to him, in such a crowd subway car. Good enough we did not mind him.

But then, as he approaced more toward the middle, he told us how nobody wanted to give him a smile. One lousy smile. He kept going on how New Yorkers were so cold. Then, someone sitting across me, smiled at him and gave him a nod. Apparently he noticed him — he was attentive at what he was saying. The man said more things, we could not help but smile at little bit. He cracked us some jokes. At the end, he reckoned the New Yorkers were not so bad after all.

Think again, why couldn’t we smile? It was a long ride to Manhattan. People wanted to go to work, meet up, take a walk. The car was full with passengers. What was there to smile for? What was he thinking?

A Japanese friend of mine told me once that in Japan, at their McDonald’s, smile is on the menu list. Is there a pricetag for that? Yes. How much? Zero, nil, nada. Why? Because a smile is free. A smile is not difficult to give. A smile is a natural facial expression. It actually feels better to smile a little every now and then.

Right after the man got off, there was another man got on and asked for money. No smile. He said he just came out of the hospital and needed some cash. Don’t we all? He did not smile himself. No smile, no money, honey.

“Smile, the world will smile back at you” — Word of Wisdom