When the pandemic first hit most people were worried that we are going to lose that human to human touch since we are hiding are smiles behind the masks. But guess what almost a year later we still see the random acts of kindness, we still see the genuine smiles behind the masks.
We live during a time where we can easily getaway with showing that act of of kindness. We are now not obliged to show our kindness, greet those strangers because we believe no one is watching.
But have you ever seen yourself respond to a smile behind a mask because you thought someone is smiling at you? Actually, you didn’t think but they actually smiled at you. The eyes smile, and we can see the smile behind the mask. According to Psychologist Paul Ekman, who studies facial expressions, described a “true enjoyment smile” as showing up in the crow’s feet or laugh lines area of the face, with the eyes narrowing and crinkling. A genuine smile — also known as the Duchenne smile — engages the orbicular-is oculi muscle around the eye; a fake smile does not. A sigh of relief, actually, those people that we think are smiling because of their eyes yes they’re actually smiling.
Recently, I witnessed an act of kindness from a stranger. One afternoon seating in one of my favourite hangout spots to do my favourite hobby people watching this couple came up to me and offered to take me a photo. All of us were wearing our masks, they just asked me if I wanted photos of myself as the spot I was seated in had a very good view and it would make beautiful photos. This became the start of a very enlightening conversation. These random acts of kindness have shown us that not even a hidden face can stop humankind from being nice to one another.
When the pandemic hit and everyone were required to mask up I was always worried that we will lose our humanity because we will not be able to see who is approachable, who is smiling, who is frowning, who is happy, who is sad. But great testimony,13 months battling with the pandemic humanity has become more friendly, become approachable even behind the masks. I always marvel at the random greetings I receive from strangers, that simple how are you, don’t take it for granted it may change someone’s life.
Don’t forget to smile behind that mask, because we see behind it. Don’t forget to still do that act of kindness even if we don’t fully recognize your facial expressions the world appreciates it even more now because you’re doing it genuinely.