Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tis the Smile

Tis the season.

Tis the season to give, but where do you start and with who and is it ever enough?

Tis the season to receive, but do They even know you or care and is it ever enough?

Tis the season, if you're not careful, to be very, very bitter. Let's not, shall we?

I haven't written in a long while, and not because I haven't given out stars.

I have met and recognized the most amazing people every day, wherever I go. There is too much to say about how much people inspire me, so sometimes I get overwhelmed and don't say anything at all. But, before even my New Year's resolution to be better kicks in, I will note a few stories that stand out.

There was striking Sue Stirling, the beautiful makeup artist who worked magic on my eyes at the Mac counter at Macy's in Chicago's Water Tower.

She is a star and deserved a big gold one if ever anyone did for her kind understanding and prowess making people beautiful.

There was Sandy, on the subway, who hoped to get the train doors to close by sheer will.

"Do you have powers?" I asked, when he voiced aloud the command in his brain: "Please close NOW!"

He laughed. "Well, thank you, you've right-sized me..." he said.

We talked for the next 15 minutes about the control we have over our attitudes, whether toward being late (which I was too) or over bigger decisions in our life, like buying a home and actually enjoying it.

I didn't locate my stars before Sandy got off the train in a rush, but I gave him one in spirit.

There is Alex from the Cafe Colombe, the inspiring capitalist who buys up the coveted hoodies and hats from Supreme on Lafayette and sells them for a premium to the guys in the back of the line who didn't get up early enough.

He understood people, including the "line leader" boys he watches over and advises every week.

With a shine of thrill in his eyes, he described the Supreme brand and what it represents better than any high-priced marketing shop I ever interviewed in my days at Ad Age:

"It's rambunctious, aggressive,'s adolescence in its purest form."

I want Alex to run for political office. He understands human nature, the difference between need and desire. He dismissed my idea of gold stars for trying.

"You just have to DO," he said.

Of course, I agree, but I have sympathy--empathy even--for the inability we have sometimes to do even the things we greatly desire, when we don't NEED to.

Tis the season to give away love and understanding, whether it be a greeting card, a gold star or simply a smile and a little stupid phrase like, "Have a great day!"

That we can all do.