“Okay, guys. Now turn and face that wall and stand up straight!”
That’s exactly what I said to these two policemen before taking their picture yesterday. They had refused to let me photograph them from the front, saying their boss, “wouldn’t like it.” Instead, they let me shoot them from behind. I mean, seriously, when was he last time you told two officers to “stand up against that wall,” and they complied? Made my day, cause they turned back around with big, wide grins.
I had spent the afternoon looking for down-in-the-mouth people who were slumped as they walked. My goal was to get them to smile. So, I first asked if I could take their picture. Then, before I did, I asked them to stand up as straight as they could.
After stopping countless people for pictures, only one declined; an old woman who informed me that she did not want to find herself, “on some porn site.” Quite honestly, given her age (and mine) I thought her concern was perhaps not one.
Nonetheless, you can see the results. Keep in mind that none of these folks looked happy when I first saw them. The two most dramatic examples were a tired, bent-over, UPS guy who transformed into a gold-toothed, gleaming, smiling, tall giant of a man and an 80 year-old lady who seemed at first decrepit, but burst into a joyous smile with shoulders flung back looking years younger.
Look….time takes its’ toll. After thousands of days of presenting ourselves to the world we just get tired—and it shows. Our bodies start to slump over. Pace slows down. Some of us even shuffle.
What to do?? FIGHT IT!! When you get out of the car, force yourself to stand up straight. Pull those shoulders back. Take one, long, deep breath, and then march into that supermarket like you OWN it. Sure, it’s temporary. But I promise that you will feel better. Who knows, you might just make someone else smile.