Friday, September 5, 2008

Smile, please, smile. I mean you no harm.

TGIF. When my boss (she is black) walked up to me this morning to give me a bouquet of flowers, I thought it was for a job well done. It turned out to be for someone else; she wanted me to deliver the gift to one of Stanford’s University Staff in another department. On the way to deliver the bouquet, I thought to myself – it will be nice to deliver one of these myself or have one of these delivered to someone I wanted to deliver them to one of these days. The day may not be far away. ☺

Anyway, so I arrive at my destination and I locate the office of the recipient. There are two ladies in the office – one Black and one Asian. They both stare at me wondering who is the object of this affection. I am sure like Sure deodorant that the recipient is the Black lady but I decide to ask for “Blah Blah” to be identified. My guess was right and a minute later, I am being showered with thanks and stories of how these flowers just brightened her morning. I haven’t stopped smiling since this episode.

This incessant smiling reminds me of the times where I really hoped people would smile instead of frowning. Do you know it takes 72 muscles to frown and 14 to smile? Do you also know laughing can add 8 years to your life? Take a chill pill my people, why so serious anyway? I wish I had a magnificent smile I could flash to up the happiness level of everyone I meet. Never let me see you down, smile while you’re bleeding. One smile doesn’t always beget another through.

Too many times, I come across people (especially Black people) and I wish they would just smile at me. The other day, I was at the soccer field recuperating after a game and this Black lady was walking past me. She had a cold look on her face and I just kept on hoping she would look at me. You know me, I am the bearer of sunshine. I kept on looking at her till I could see her face no more. Why wouldn’t she even establish eye contact with me? I mean how! We are both ‘black’. I meant her no harm, I just wanted to say hi. If that didn’t work, I just wanted her to acknowledge my smile. My 14 muscles better not waste the effort, you know. A few minutes later, my sister is chatting heartily with some white coursemates/friends/colleagues/housemates/similar-interest people. Apparently, she doesn’t talk to strangers.

I don’t understand why some Black people are so cold toward other Blacks. Second episode is as follows. When I went to LA recently, I went to visit a friend at UCLA with some of my buddies. When we got to her apartment, her neighbours were pre-partying and as game recognizes game, we approached them to acquaint ourselves with the festivities. We ended up taking a couple of Tequila shots and introduced ourselves. This neighbour crew numbered about 7 men one of which was Black. For whatever reason, I never got the chance to say hi to this ‘brother’. I really wanted to but this dude just wouldn’t let me. When ‘brothers’ assimilate into hanging with whites all the time, do they forget to know how to relate to black people? Do they refuse? Do they think those of us Blacks who are in the midst of Blacks all the time despise or hate them? Sometimes I wonder if I repel these kind of people sef.

I’m not being racist by directing my ‘furore’ against Blacks, I also say hi and flash smiles at all races. They are not obliged to smile at when I smile at them but I just think my brothers and sisters should acknowledge me when I am trying to reach out. The smile drowns under those frowns and it downs clowns in gowns. Chaa. Let’s radiate positive energy towards each other. Oftentimes, if someone doesn’t open up so I can be nice to him/her, I tune him/her out. From today, I am going to try my best to invade people’s private space to smile, say hi, get a phone number, make their day, yadda yadda yadda. Great men achieved greatness by making bold moves, taking risks and daring disappointment in its face. You have nothing to do lose if you just smile.

PS: Listening to Smile by K'Naan -
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