Comments from the canyons: Rural residents should keep on smiling

Last week, we visited about the joys of living in a small town and how fortunate we are. Let's continue along that same line as we think about a few more habits we exhibit.

I was reminded of one of them when I heard a news report about a project in Boston in which a group of people decided to show how much a simple smile can mean to the passersby. They made an effort to smile at each person they met and found that some people returned those smiles.

Because we are so accustomed to seeing smiling faces wherever we turn, I was a little baffled at first to hear such a common act making national news. Of course, this showed just one more contrast between life in a rural area and one in the city. Also it emphasized the fact that we speak to many people we meet as we wander around.

You may even recall that as young people we were warned to avoid speaking to those strangers in the cities or even to make eye contact as we walked along the streets.

I remember how awkward I felt the first time I was in a larger city because I just couldn't walk along looking at my feet. Naturally, I looked at the people head on and was amazed at how many just looked straight ahead and how few smiles could be seen.

For once, I didn't try speaking to anyone as Mother would have had one more reason to correct my manners. I was really feeling very rude because the manners I had been taught to use at home were just the opposite of the actions I was supposed to use in the city.

After listening to the item about Boston, I watched our local actions a little more closely than usual. Many of us wave at each other as we drive around both in town and in the country.

When we enter most of our business establishments we are greeted by employees and owners with warm smiles and friendly words. We then receive more such smiles and words as we look around in the establishment.

Just notice how often you stop to talk as you are in any of our stores and how often you smile and receive smiles. Most of the time, we know those who are greeting us, but quite often we are known to smile and speak to strangers we meet along the way.

Think about how often you are greeted as you enter any of our restaurants. Just check on that if you go for morning coffee. You will find yourself smiling as you enter and speaking to most of the people throughout the place.

You will hear your name called and hope you can remember the names of those with whom you are exchanging greetings. You will probably find that you speak to a few travelers along the way as you head toward a table. Sometimes, those travelers even want to visit a bit about the area, and you find pleasure in trying to answer their questions.

Yes, life is great in our area. Let's just keep smiling and greeting each other.

Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.

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