Smile When They Least Expect It

While I was on my cycling trip I learned to ride defensively, acknowledging every oncoming driver on a quiet road, nodding and smiling at every driver coming into to a right turn situation so that I knew I was seen.  I noticed that when I did this not only did I get people’s attention; I usually got a smile in return.

Now, back in Boston where public smiles are rare as snow in Hawaii, I have kept up my habit.  Sometimes I still get a smile
in return. More often I get a look of shocked amazement that turns into a positive reaction, and at the most extreme, the driver shoots me a frown of doubt, as if he is using all of his mental powers to figure out what I am up to.  Little does he know that I am up to
nothing except savoring a lingering moment of my summer adventure.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
This entry was posted in Bicycle Journey 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Smile When They Least Expect It

  1. pat bringenberg says:


  2. Sherri McCutchen says:

    I love to catch the eye of someone looking serious or even down and flash a big, warm smile: it’s great to see how often their faces light up. I hope it gives their spirits a slight lift, and that at least a few of them “pay it forward”.

  3. Peter R Lee says:

    I love to smile at people and I usually get a positive response, even in Boston.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s