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urban psy-ops: half-smile

Living downtown, I see hundreds of faces every time I leave my apartment. Mostly the only people who make eye contact are asking for money. The others are mostly staring at the ground or staring into the blank distance. We seem to all have learned the avoid-eye-contact standard behavior that goes with New York City. Here's the thing: I live in the middle of a small community. The same couple of hundred people walk down New Montogomery Street to offices each day; the same couple hundred art students lug portfolios between Academy of Art classes; the same MUNI drivers maneuver the 30 and the 45 up third street every day. We don't have to all ignore each other.
So here's my project, which I've been practicing for the last few days: endeavor to be present and available and positive as I walk around the city. This is a simple matter of three physical postures: head up, eyes open, half-smile. And, if I happen to meet someone's eyes, I smile a bit more, and nod. That's all, but it feels really good. Try it; it feels like making friends with the city, or at least, deciding not to reject the whole population without even seeing them. Try it, and let me know how it goes. Be brave! Change the world! Stop spreading fear! Spread pleasure!

Reader Comments (1)

Spread joy.

9.13.2007 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarshall

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