I have always been happy with logic, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. A smile that I receive in return for some action is welcome and makes sense. An “unearned” smile is a mystery. What caused it? Are they remembering something you did? Is toilet paper stuck to your shoe? Are they looking at someone behind you?
Not to call a smile illogical, there are few effects more firmly linked to a cause anywhere in life. We all like to see people smile, especially if we had a part in creating it. But the cause of any particular person’s smile is sometimes a repeated event, such as eye contact with someone special to you, whilst a joke that got a grin on the chin 5 minutes ago may never work again.
So where the logic fails is that there is no consistent way to make just anyone smile. Justin Bieber makes teenage girls act like jumping beans but everyone else just rolls their eyes at him. Johnny Carson is one of the funniest people in the history of television, but how many youngsters today know about the Ed Ames “hatchet throw” on the Tonight Show which generated the longest unprompted string of laughter ever recorded?
It is at this point I have to concede that the smile (the ‘form’ of the smile, as Plato would say) is an irrationally rational emotional expression totally independent from logic. The links of cause and effect are coincidental and different for every perspective. This also leads inevitably to the oft made point that you just can’t please everybody.
Just do the best you can and be glad the people getting stoned are on the couch at home and not in a crumpled heap by a brick wall breathing their last breath because they offended somebody. We can make fun of our leaders without fear of the guillotine. You can pull my finger or pull my leg. The beauty of the smile is that it can appear anywhere, anytime, for any reason, and is infectious.
So go, bring your smile to the world, share it with others whether they are smiling or not, and spread the happiness like butter.
Stay quirky, my friends… 😉