I’m still chewing on this whole idea of sending laughter out into the world. I think that some people change the world by curing diseases or stopping wars or inventing lightbulbs, and others change it simply by making a stranger smile for no reason at all. Ghandi said that we must be the change we want to see in the world. What would this little planet look like if we all set out to make one person we don’t know smile each day? Little children do it all the time — pulling faces in the line-up at the grocery store or swinging on the metal baracades at the bank. They seem to be able to find play in any situation. Is this one more skill we learn to forget with age?
As I was thinking about this I was reminded of a book I was force-marched through in elementary school — Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I hated that book. Sorry Ray, but I did and still do. It seriously freaked me out. But there’s this one scene, one quote that I still remember all these years later. The Really Good Character was locked in an epic battle with the seemigly impervious Really Evil Character (and as a sidenote, in this book there is a ton of evil, so the Really Evil one is saying something). Anyway, just as you’re sure the good guy is about to bite it he takes a wax bullet and carves a little shape into it before loading the gun. He turns to Evil guy and says, “Did you see what I did? What I carved in the bullet? It’s not a crescent moon, it’s a smile. I’m going to shoot you with my smile.” At which point the gun fires, the Good Guy wins, the music swells, the screen fades to black.
Thinking about this now, it’s an interesting concept — shooting someone with your smile. Not in the sense of destroying them, but “killing” their mood if they’re in a bad one, changing the direction of their day. Zapping the negative kharma if you’re so inclined. I was told awhile ago that each of us has a much greater impact on those around us than we realize. If we work or live or wait in line together, my mood has the ability to affect yours. My actions can change what you do or even how you see the situation that you are in. My smile could kill you softly.
What is your gun loaded with today? Do I need to duck?