Anregung zum Lächeln

Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie gingen die Straßen Ihrer Nachbarschaft entlang, das Gesicht nach oben gewandt und mit offenem Gesichtsausdruck. Wie viele derjenigen, denen Sie dabei begegnen, würden wohl lächeln oder Sie auf irgendeine Weise begrüßen?

Lächeln ist eine universelle menschliche Praxis, auch wenn die Bereitschaft, Fremde anzulächeln, je nach Kultur variiert. In Australien, wo es nicht ungewöhnlich ist, Fremden offen und freundlich zu begegnen, hat die einige der Küstenvororte Melbournes umfassende Stadt Port Phillip Freiwillige eingesetzt, um herauszufinden, wie häufig die Menschen andere Passanten, die ihnen auf der Straße begegnen, anlächeln. Anschließend stellte die Stadt an Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkungen erinnernde Schilder auf, die Fußgängern kenntlich machen, dass sie sich etwa in einer Zone aufhalten, wo sie 10 Mal pro Stunde lächeln sollen.

Leichtfertiger Unfug? Eine Verschwendung von Steuergeldern? Bürgermeisterin Janet Bolitho sagt, die Schilder seien ein Versuch, die Leute zu ermutigen, Nachbarn und Fremde beim Straßenbummel anzulächeln oder ihnen „G’day“ – die übliche australische Grußform – zu wünschen. Ein Lächeln, so fährt sie fort, vermittle den Menschen ein Gefühl der Verbundenheit und Sicherheit in Bezug auf ihr Umfeld und verringere so die Furcht vor Verbrechen – ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Lebensqualität in vielen Vierteln.

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