I stopped today to tell an unknown woman that she was very pleasing to look at. I had to of course, tell her first that I had no further intentions afterward of that declaration. I had to also mention that there were many aspects of what went into her appeal that were purely subjective on my part, due to experience, the quality of my vision system, as well as my particular ability to rationalize this all out clearly. This lead to an apology for suggesting that my vision might be faulty, and its possible reason for my finding her attractive.
After she was offended by my explanation, inferring that she may not have been as attractive as I had thought at first, I tried to console her that my ability to see was better than my ability to explain, and that indeed, she was very attractive and most people would find her so, regardless of the sex of the observer. This of course caused an expression akin to biting into a lemon or another sour fruit.
Well lastly, I walked away saddened by having insulted the poor woman when I had intended to praise her appearance, not just because of physical beauty, but for the inner beauty as well that was transmitted by her smile, and through her presence, how she I like her reactions to various occurrences that I happened to witness in the miniscule time I was near her in the open city street.
Would I ever praise someone in such a manner again, given the consequences of this encounter? Of course I would, because it was heartfelt and honest, and I knew that the possibility of possibility of changing someone’s mood to (hopefully) elevate their mood for even a minor amount of time was important, at least to me. Seeing a smile is always gratifying and self-reflective, or self-replicating on my own face, not something taken for granted, dismissed, or even denied because of the insecurities and misgivings of personal behavior on either side of the comment.
Too many times I have neglected to put a smile on my own face, and out of social insecurity, have allowed something or someone pleasing to go by without admitting the truth. There is always sadness after this missing an opportunity and obligation to be social, even when the consequences are not all I hoped for.
Try to give the world one more smile and hope for the contagion to spread like pollen across a field of bright flowers. It may irritate the nostrils sometimes instead of pleasing us with its aroma, but in the long run think of all the plants that will be fertilized and grow to spread their pollen as well.