Please don’t try this at home. However, if you’re inclined to change the world, please DO try this in airports (as I did in Philadelphia yesterday) and other public spaces. Be sure to let me know if it works.
Note: The first two steps are optional.
Step One – Hang out at Satchmofest in New Orleans.
Step Two – Make sure to catch the closing performance by Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, and kick loose, especially when they finish up with Skokiaan. (If you’re not familiar with Mr. Ruffins, he’s one hell of a performer, often paid the compliment of embodying the spirit of Louis Armstrong himself.)
Step Three – Take your seat in the airport or other public space.
Step Four – Click on this YouTube video *
Step Five – As Kermit gets going, “a smile on every note” (a quote I read yesterday about clarinetist Pete Fountain, but which applies equally here), look at the people around you. Somehow he seems to be accompanying everybody, whether they’re walking energetically or dazedly, texting, drinking from a water bottle, contending with their kids. Because what he’s doing is playing the beauty of life.
Step Six – Check and see. Good chance you’re smiling.
Step Seven – Good chance what you’ve seen and are feeling will make you better equipped to bring out the smile in others.
Anyway, that’s my theory till proven otherwise. Let’s build a body of empirical evidence, shall we?
And what the hell, go ahead and try this at home if you like. I won’t tell.
* Kermit – should you ever see this, and would rather no one had put the recording on YouTube, let me know, and I’ll find some way to change this blogpost while still securing the improvement of the world.