One of the worst outcomes of the pandemic and obligatory wearing of masks is the inability to see the faces of one another. In some cases, it’s probably just as well. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who choose to walk around with perpetual scowls. But for the most part, the expressions of people I see are benign at worst, happy at best.

The good news is that eventually, we won’t need to wear any more masks and we can see each other. That furnishes the ideal opportunity to conduct an experiment that I have conducted, always with positive results. When you manage to create eye contact with a stranger, smile at that person and see what happens.

Most of the time, people will smile back. Other times, they will look at you quizzically, as if your elevator never gets to the top floor or you are somehow otherwise compromised. It’s very seldom that people will ask you what’s wrong with you or why you are smiling.

One of the consequences of doing this type of smiling is that it has the potential for spreading positive energy to those you meet. If someone elects not to receive it that way, it’s not your fault. Either they don’t need one more smile, they are content with being grumpy, or they have something more pressing on their minds.

It also feels good. Think about it. Are you better when you are stern-faced and serious or positive and cheerful? Creating good is an excellent place for us and those whom we contact. Smiling doesn’t you cost anything and it has the capacity for transmitting something excellent. In our current mask-wearing status, I still smile at people. I’m not at all persuaded that others know that I am smiling but it can’t hurt. If you really want to make certain that you are transmitting good stuff, quickly pull down your mask, smile and return it to the place over your nose. You’ll never know whom you have improved in addition to yourself. Shalom.

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