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Question: When is it most difficult to smile?  Why? CPNN article: A Smile Goes a Long Way
CPNN Administrator
Posted: July 16 2007,16:43

Readers' comments are invited on this article and question.
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Posted: July 17 2007,08:46

I find it hard to smile to someone who has an affluent look and holds a top position. This includes my company manager, director and during my schooldays it used to be my class teacher. When I smiled and greeted my class teacher, she would ask me what was funny about the morning! My first job was at an international company. The same thing happened to me. My senior boss would ask me if I did not have something to do! So I had to make a choice when I wanted to smile to someone.
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Posted: July 21 2007,07:17

Hi Molly,

Your comment about the difficulty of smiling to a teacher or a boss reminds me of the wonderful book by Paulo Friere called Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which ought to be on any reading list for the culture of peace.  Freire describes the teaching methods of oppression (We can call it the culture of war) which he calls the "banking method" where the teacher has the "truth" and deposits it like money into the accounts of the students.  And he distinguishes a true pedagogy (which we may call the culture of peace) in which the teacher and students work together at problem-solving.

It can be the same in the workplace.  In the old style authoritarian workplace the boss gives the orders and the worker simply carries them out.  That's like in the military where the general gives the command and everyone has to carry out orders.  Instead, a more effective workplace is like the problem-solving described by Paulo Friere, where the boss and workers collaborate to achieve common goals.

Obviously, in the banking method, smiles don't work, but in the problem-solving method, smiles are an important part of the process.

Your comments and the article about smiling reminds us that the transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace is a transformation at every level from international affairs down to the family, the school and the workplace.  That's why in the International Year for the Culture of Peace, we asked the Nobel Peace Laureates to write the Manifesto 2000 in which people were asked to practice the culture of peace "in my daily life, in my family, my work, my community, my country and my region."  This pledge was signed at the time by 75 million people.

David Adams
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Posted: Aug. 05 2007,21:36

Thank you Mr Adams for your comments. For me, your comments are a reflection of my growing years; I had to undergo changes to experience peace, and to be a "channel of peace".

Now, I wish I was more aggresive in my efforts to promote peace. I am still at a base level, at the level of - "in my daily life, in my family, my work, " only.
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