The year was 1973; the place was Norton Company in upstate New York; and the man was Mike B.. He wasn't much to look at, drank way too much, always seemed to be in the thick of any disturbance, yet he comes to my mind as one of the outstanding characters of my early adulthood. I am almost at a loss for words in describing him, so I will reference Eliza Doolittle's father (from the movie- My Fair Lady) as the best comparison I can think of at the moment. Mike had a special sort of wisdom and insight into people that is singular in my experience with human beings. He would say things like: "You can say anything to anybody at anytime, as long as it is the truth and you have a crazy enough smile on your face." And mike did!!! From his immediate supervisor to the head of the department and even the general foreman of the plant, Mike practiced what he preached!!! The thing is: Mike's smile was infectious. He could turn the most adversarial situation into laughter and most people just loved to be around "crazy Mike". So much for the power of a smile. In thinking about Mike, I remembered JOB and his positive attitude towards adversity and his consideration towards the less fortunate...
Job, Chapter 29
21 “Men listened to me, waited,
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After my words they didn’t speak again.
My speech fell on them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain.
Their mouths drank as with the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence.
They didn’t reject the light of my face.
25 I chose out their way, and sat as chief.
I lived as a king in the army,
as one who comforts the mourners.
Today, I offer no great insights, or revelations; just something you already know. The power of a smile and the knowledge that it has the capacity to confuse even the most obnoxious among us to the point that they can become pliable to the point of being friendly. You don't have to agree with me- but know that as I write these words, I have a smile from ear to ear!!! Confused yet????