Last week Carol Burnett was on the MSNBC morning show, Morning Joe, and it was a fascinating interview. Carol Burnett’s variety show ran 11 years (1967 – 1978) and was not only a very popular show, it was a trailblazer for its time.
She was promoting her new book, Carrie and Me, a memoir about her relationship with her daughter, Carrie, who died of cancer in 2002. Here’s how Burnett describes the force that drew people to her daughter.
She had gone into a family-type restaurant and she had this big smile and she would smile and everyone would be open to her and she said, mama, I don’t know why people don’t smile more because if you walk into a room full of strangers and you smile, the world opens up to you…. I asked Carrie why she’s always so cheerful, and she said that every day, every morning I wake up and decide – and this is a key word, decide – today I’m going to love my life.
This really struck me – the power of a smile – not only for others but for ourselves.
We all have a choice as to what we bring to a situation or interaction.
We can escalate anger or de-escalate.
We can tear down or build up.
We can see the beauty or we can be indifferent.
We can complain or take action.
We can destroy or we can help.
I wrote this post before the events of this week. Yet, even in the midst of tragedy, we have seen the power of a smile and a helping hand.
Also Watch: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are (TED Video)