When you think of Scrooge, what picture appears in your mind? A blissful happy soul? Or a negative, mean looking person with a nasty disposition? Easy question to answer. Just look at the character in books or films. As one might say, “He needs a mommy!”
As it turns out, he needed some visits from ghost-like characters to woo him into becoming a palatable human; one anyone might like to be around. And I’ll bet he even appeared more joyful.
While entering and navigating my way around a warehouse store this week, I encountered many Scrooge-like scowls on the faces of men and women. And why? No easy places to park. Long checkout lines. The push-and-shove of the warehouse store visitor for free samples. People blocking the aisles. And…more. Bah humbug!
Also this week, I read about a study on how a happy or angry resting face could affect your career. Three researchers were involved: two from Princeton University and one from Carnegie Mellon. They discovered what they termed as “face-ism.” Supposedly, this is a decision we make about someone’s trustworthiness, competency, or even being an extrovert based solely on their facial features. Their evidence is strong. http://t.today.com/health/do-you-have-happy-or-angry-resting-face-it-may-1D80234661?__source=xfinity%7Cmod&par=xfinity
The study focused on people’s resting faces —when not affected by some emotional influence. More mature looking people were inherently judged as competent; the baby-faced folks...not so much. They also determined that “being really, really, ridiculously good-looking helped create positive impressions.”
But here’s a really important distinction. The resting faces of naturally angry looking people were rated less trustworthy! The happy faces had a much more favorable perception.
The researchers believe that judging people in this way is unhealthy, but it is what it is. We use these perceptions in determining our choice of candidates, who handles our money, and even who we convict for crimes.
Again, I don’t have hard evidence to prove it, but I believe that if joy invades your heart, your face will reflect that. And vice versa. If your heart lacks joy, maybe it explains all those scowls at the warehouse store this Christmas season.
For Christ followers, maybe you should look in the mirror a bit more often to see what kind of resting face you have. Heavenly messengers gave these words at the birth announcement of Jesus: “…but the angel said to them, ‘Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.’” (Luke 2:10, GNV) That certainly includes us!
From this angelic announcement we get one of the most beloved of our Christmas carols: Joy to the World. In case you need a refresher…
Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing. (repeated twice)
Think about it. A smile here. A happy face there. A warm Christmas greeting to everyone might just help some Scrooges come around. Even in the office!
As said by a famous Cratchit…God bless us…every one.
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Mark Elfstrand can be heard weekdays, 4-6 pm on AM 1160 WYLL in Chicago. Check the web for WYLL and the app for AM 1160 to listen live. Or by podcast.