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During a crisis in The Simpsons, Helen Lovejoy, the nosy wife of the minister, raises her eyes to heaven and asks “Won’t somebody think about the children?”
I need to ask the same question, but with a little more sincerity. Recently I was leaving a restaurant and I passed by a table with a little girl and her father. I smiled at the girl (aged about 6 or 7), because that’s what I do. She did not smile back, and I heard her say “Daddy, why did that lady smile at me?” I did not hear his response, but I was stunned by the question.
We have so stunted our children’s social growth with lockdowns and masks that they cannot even imagine a stranger would smile at them, just because. So when you are out and about, think about the children, smile at them, and interact in a positive, friendly way when possible (no being creepy). They need the reassurance that adults are not scary or contaminating. Smile at their parents, too. Children need to learn, and adults need to re-learn how to live without fear, be cordial and friendly and human.Published in