Missing your smile…

When last did you see a smile on someone’s “exposed” face? I have found myself looking forward to whatsapp video calls where I can see peoples’ unmasked faces…and that got me thinking about smiles, facial expressions, how much communication happens non-verbally and what effect masks will have on our communication now and in the future. So I thought I would write something upbeat about finding alternative opportunities for communicating and smiling more with our eyes. A quick look at the internet and my blogpost would be done. That was Monday – I have emerged almost 3 days later with more questions than answers. I did not realise that the science of the smile is so complicated!

Apparently there are between 19 and 50 different smiles meaning different things. The consensus seems to be that 6 of them are positive. The rest happen when we are experiencing pain, discomfort, misery, anger, contempt, embarrassment, confusion, surprise and horror. (Some of the experiments that demonstrated this are horrific!) We also tend to smile when we are lost and when we are lying. There really seems to be a smile for every occasion! So, how do we actually understand what a smile means?

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What has happened to Diversity Dialogue?

In case you have been wondering what has happened to Diversity Dialogue, I have not disappeared, left the country or crept into a hole to hide in. I have put open Dialogues on hold for the first half of this year, with the purpose of becoming moderately fluent in Sepedi. I have tried for years to progress on this journey, but it so easily gets derailed by other important things. Now I have set myself a deadline, and need to dedicate a considerable chunk of time to it on a daily basis. This is one way that helps to find some time.

It seems to me a very good choice in how to use my time. I am passionate about social cohesion – people who are different understanding each other and becoming a more integrated team. This is why I started Diversity Dialogue…

There are usually about ten people at a dialogue once a month.

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Killing in Schools

On 13 July, ten people gathered at Johannesburg Bible College in Soweto to dialogue around the topic of “Killing in schools”. Other themes included violence in home and society, rights and freedom vs. responsibility, and government’s failure – mainly in the education system, the unintended societal results of changes and laws, and the unintended results of institutions taking over responsibilities that were relational before.

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Join the troops for Cover Wars!

Annarie Paterson designed a stunning cover for my poetry book Dwelling in Dissonance. (The poems in this book are largely based on dialogues.) This cover is in the authorshout Cover Wars competition this week. I would really like to win this, but I need a large supportive community to help!

The book cover with the most votes becomes the book of the week at authorshout.com and is promoted on their website, emails and shout outs. This is publicity I would really value.

I am beginning to understand why it is called cover wars! I am up against an American author who has written a few books already, so this is a bit of a David against Goliath battle.

Please join this community effort! Follow the link, check it out and if you agree that Dwelling in Dissonance is the best, scroll all the way down to the bottom to vote for it …  You can vote multiple times – once every 24 hours. The competition ends on Sunday at 2pm SA time. (8am EST) If you could share with friends too, that would be very much appreciated.

 

http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

 

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