Smile From Ear To Ear

I recently met Newt Gingrich and his wife. They happened to be staying at the same hotel as me during a vacation this past summer. I’d seen them earlier in the day at a local bookstore and since I tend to oppose him politically, I found myself thinking somewhat nasty things about him. I didn’t know him of course, and I certainly didn’t know if any of the things I’d heard about him were actually true. Even if the things I’d heard were true, who knows how exaggerated they were or what circumstances surrounded them. Guess what? We’re all human. I’m certainly not perfect. Case in point, here I was thinking negatively about someone I didn’t even know. That isn’t like me.

Later that day I was back at the hotel, and there they were, sitting alone on the hotel patio. I’d just taken my two kids to the pool and they went running and screaming past Mr. Gingrich and his wife. I came closer and they were just glowing. With smiles from ear to ear, they couldn’t wait to ask me about my kids. I chatted with them ever so briefly and then went on my way. They couldn’t have been nicer.

People respond in kind. Most reasonable people will be nice if you’re nice to them. And if you’re nasty to them, you can probably expect the same back. Sometimes it seems this country has forgotten how we do unto others.

I’m sorry, Newt. In fact, I’d like to say I’m sorry to the other half of the country. I’m sorry for sometimes only seeing the worst in you. I’m sorry for accepting the worst in me and my “side.” I’m sorry for giving up on us. Well, that ends today. I still don’t agree with a lot of what you believe, but I’m going to start smiling from ear to ear. I hope you’ll smile back.

One response to “Smile From Ear To Ear”

  1. Mark Robinson says:

    I applaud your efforts here. I suggest that in general we all use the wrong criteria for judging “winning”. You won when you realized Newt and his wife were real people because they enjoy the life of children. This is an everyday event that effects you and your children, far more important than what you paid for gasoline yesterday. We need to sit down with all of us in a room and realize thru friendly talk that we generally agree on what is really important to our personal lives, and what defines “winning”. Probably be the end of politics!

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