The research is pouring in! We're born to connect. A new book, Born to Be Good by Dacher Keltner focuses on the importance of such things as smiles, the importance of making contact. It reminds me on this day, the eve of Obama's inauguration, that I originally committed to him on the basis of his smile. It was, and still is, real. No phoney smiles for him. It makes you realize how much phoney emotion we're surrounded by, from politicians to commericials. But Obama truly connects.
I was also excited by a story on the Huffington Post that told about the efforts of MeetUp and Huffington Post to get people at the inauguration to say hello. They handed out name tags and encouraged people to greet each other. It reminds me our our Phinney EcoVillage project, the "stop and chat" campaign to encourage people to get to know their neighbors. Recent research shows that when your neighbor is happy, you are affected by that. It makes you happier too. And how else is that communicated? By stopping, chatting, smiling, and laughing!