Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Law of Smiling

In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits.

The 8th Boy Scout Law, which appeared in Scouting for Boys in 1908, states that: 

A SCOUT SMILES AND WHISTLES under all circumstances. When he gets an order he should obey it cheerily and readily, not in a slow, hang-dog sort of way. Scouts never grouse at hardships, nor whine at each other, nor swear when put out. When you just miss a train, or someone treads on your favorite corn - not that a scout ought to have such things as corns - or under any annoying circumstances, you should force yourself to smile at once, and then whistle a tune, and you will be all right. A scout goes about with a smile and whistling. It cheers him and cheers other people, especially in time of danger, for he keeps it up then all the same." 

"Service with a smile," has been the core of American business since the 1900s. Research continually proves that smiling really does increase attractiveness and likability between humans. People who smile produce what is called the effect, which correlates with greater trust, greater financial earnings, and increased interpersonal cooperation. 

A smile conveys respect, patience, empathy, hospitality and compassion. A smile also results in more "Good Samaritan" effects on others. 

People remember your name easier when you smile. In a study on smiling conducted by Takashi Tsukiura and Roberto Cabeza at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, scientists discovered that smiling enhances our brains ability to remember names. The smiling facial expression activates the orbit frontal and hippocampal areas of the brain associated with name association. The brain also processes faster in the presence of a smile. The results demonstrate how rewarding a smiling face can be and how it enhances our relational memory ability. 

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