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.