Culture

Try a Little Kindness

Try a Little Kindness

When you travel, what do you notice about the people in foreign countries? Maybe they dress differently, maybe they’re all taller than you… maybe it’s the way they greet people or the way they spend their free time that sets them apart.

One difference that stands out between American and French people is their SMILES! American people ALWAYS smile. Whether they’re sad, stressed, happy, busy, bored or confused, their “go to” expression is always the smile.

My grandmother and I were in Paris around New Years this year, and she said something that had never occurred to me before. My grandmother, a true New Yorker, explained to me that whenever she is in Paris, she consciously smiles less, because the French just don’t smile like Americans. Smiling at strangers is just not the custom in France like it is in America.

What is the power of a smile? Can just one smile change someone’s life? Can one smile be the difference between life and death? Who knows the value of a smile? Well, in this article from TIME Magazine, I discovered that scientists may have the answers to these questions…

According to the Scientists, “ …biases in the perception of emotional facial expressions play a causal role in subjective anger and aggressive behavior.”

-http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/04/study-shows-seeing-smiles-can-lower-aggression/

And WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? … you might ask. Basically, their experiments have shown that seeing a smile can reduce violence and aggressive behavior. So, next time you’re walking down the street, you might give it a try. You never know if your smile will change a stranger’s mood from aggressive to calm. Bring a little happiness to your community, turn someone else’s frown upside-down!

“Put a smile on your face,
make the world a better place”
-Thanks Vitamin C!

Famous Quotes

France, and the…

johnny-deppFrance, and the whole of Europe have a great culture and an amazing history. Most important thing though is that people know how to live! In America they’ve forgotten all about it. I’m afraid that the American culture is a disaster! – Johnny Depp

What do you think about this quote by Johnny Depp?  Are you surprised?  For many French people, the USA is a dream.  They see tall buildings, flashing lights, beautiful women, big cars…  But what is the problem??

For me, since I’ve come to France I have also had the same impression as Johnny.  In the U.S. life is all about working hard, making money, and then spending it…on any and everything.  Why?  Because what else is there.  So you have a vicious circle of working, spending, working to spend more, working to pay your debt….

So we never take a minute just to slow down.  To look around and be thankful for what we have.  We never spend hours around a table having a good meal in good company.  We eat standing up or even driving, and multi-task constantly.

Month-long holidays are something that exist only for school children.  We have other things to waste our money on…

So although every country has its flaws, I think Johnny is right.  The French know how to live.  And eat!!!!