Monday, January 19, 2009

A smile, a hello, and the promise of Obama's new way.

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!

1 comment:

  1. As you saw from my email, I had a great communal experience at the Shoreline Conference Center watching the Inaugural. They did have nametags but there wasn't a lot of talking (my ex-MIL did talk to some people). I agree, we need smiles and talking. I went to a career networking/work time session last night. A bunch of people there are unemployed, and instead of wanting to work on projects (the ostensible reason for the gathering) they just wanted to talk. especially when people feel isolated (such as when unemployed), they crave that human contact.