Fin de limitation de sourire

Imaginez que vous marchez dans les rues de votre quartier la tête levée, le visage ouvert. D’après vous, parmi les personnes que vous croisez, combien vous souriraient ou vous saluraient de quelque manière que ce soit ?

Sourire est une pratique humaine universelle, même si la propension à sourire aux étrangers varie selon les cultures. En Australie, où il n’est pas rare d’être ouvert et amical avec les inconnus, la ville de Port Phillip, qui regroupe certaines des banlieues de la baie de Melbourne, fait appel à des volontaires pour savoir à quelle fréquence les gens se sourient dans la rue. Ces volontaires ont brandi des panneaux ressemblant à des limitations de vitesse, mais précisé aux piétons qu’ils se trouvaient, par exemple, dans une « zone à 10 sourires à l’heure ».

Absurdités frivoles ? Gaspillage de l’argent du contribuable ? Janet Bolitho, maire de la ville, affirme que ces panneaux sont une tentative d’encourager les gens à sourire ou à dire « G’day » – le salut australien classique – tant à leurs voisins qu’aux inconnus qui se promènent dans la rue. Elle ajoute que sourire permet de nous sentir plus proches et en sécurité, et réduit donc notre peur du crime – élément important de la qualité de vie de nombreux quartiers.

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