The Word "Appearance". . .really is a loaded word when you reflect on it.
"Good, Great or Fine, Thank You" or something similiar that "all is well with life".
Even large industries (Fast Food, Convenience Stores, Clothing and Accessories) consists of employees who greet customers all "robotic" in asking, "How are you?", "Thank you for coming in". It is just the etiquette of salutations, it is a course of good customer service and I get it, it's just business.
The proper etiquette spills over into our Family Dynamics and includes those we call dear friends, even with the proclaimed girl's "BFF" or the guy's "ACE", the same holds true. The familiar lines, "All is Well", "Things are Good". A few surface things are shared, after all, these titles come with an understanding of having a trusted, "close" relationship, right? and the rest is smooth sailing, keep it light, right?!
I'm not expecting to walk up to people and have a conversation and they give a journal on what is wrong with life. If you listen or read my posts, you know my nature is take the negatives and find the positives, to take a challenge head on, doing the things I can and seeking God's Wisdom for the many things I have no control over and having the Faith He will guide me along to the best direction for my Journey.
It started with the question; "How Much Pain is Behind a Smile?"
The Point is to become more Aware and to Know that their can be Pain Behind a Smile
and to the Tomorrows, along my Journey.
Maybe, we should all slow down, with those who are closer to us and or associated with us, to ask a genuine question (beyond etiquette), "How are things?". To ask, to listen, to let others know that we care. Many times you realize, if they share, that most challenges in life are familiar and no one holds an exemption pass, but maybe in the asking, maybe in the availability to be alert and to listen, it could be a difference maker in a situation, it could be an opportunity to let someone you know you are there.
Sometimes, a person is not looking for a solution; sometimes in "the Moment", they just need a trusted ear, a place to vent, a confidant for the moment, someone who holds no judgement and can be trusted not to broadcast their business with every person that they know.
Pain behind that smile and we all need to "Leave a Little Room".
We need to be a little more patient, leave a little more room for the person whose service wasn't the greatest at a dinner out or didn't get the order exactly right, to overlook the cashier who doesn't greet our arrival or wish us a good day. To not get caught up in the rage for the car that cut you off or desperately is trying to get around you in crowded traffic. We need to leave a little more room, to have a little more patience, to make a choice to not get angry or to get upset. It is a choice and who knows maybe those encounters are people on the moment of a breaking apart point, who really knows?!
With those closer to us, our family, our close friends, to leave the same room, maybe even more for the times when their actions or words is out of character, of who you know they are and have been in times past. Room to vent, room to think about their acting out may have been towards you (but 95% of time is not about you), so a little more room. A little more patience, consider for that moment that this behavior is out of character, give out the "No Offense Taken Pass". Allowing the space, allowing the room for that person to get back on track, to get back on and continue there Journey.