Monday, November 1, 2010

Kind Face

Have you ever passed by a complete stranger, perhaps at the grocery store or the mall, maybe it was on the sidewalk or in an airport, and were inexplicably warmed by their presence? I'm not talking about a sexual attraction or something lustful. You somehow wish that you could get to know that person. Something about their makeup just communicates to you that they are warm and gentle and kind. This feeling can wash over you even though no words or looks or gestures are exchanged. Usually when this happens to me, I remark to myself that they sure had a "kind face".

I spent some time pondering what characteristics make up a kind face. It doesn't mean that the person is handsome or pretty, thin and in shape, or clean and well dressed. It is more imperceptible. Something like a twinkle in their eyes, a calm spirit, an inner light. It's a quiet confidence, a humble demeanor, a positive vibration. This aura is not something consciously worn and put on like a cloak. It is comprised of several intangible qualities that kind of all serve to make you take notice and pull you in.

I have been told many times over the years that I don't have this quality, that many folks who don't know me all that well are put off by me. I come across as unkind and unapproachable, even when I don't say a word. I have also noticed the few times I have held a friend's baby in my arms for the first time that they seem frightened when they look into my face. They sense something unkind about me. It's a look that they don't give everyone who picks them up for the first time. Makes me wonder if a kind face is something genetic or something learned.