Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kind Faces.....

I had an interesting conversation with D. last night. She came around to my area of the house and began talking about her rental house, the fact that she is not pleased with her renters, that "they don't own any furniture."

As she went along, I heard so much judgemental dreck about people on welfare, people who don't own good cars, people who don't "have anything" that I almost got confused and thought I was talking to my mother! While D has one of the biggest hearts I've ever known, her materialism is very, very annoying! I know it is a result of her own background and her utter distaste from the Texas poverty she grew up in.

For conversation's sake, I asked her what she looks for when she first meets someone. She said she notices how they're dressed, their mannerisms, signals that they are "classy".



The first thing I look for is a kind face. Does someone look like a kindly person who is approachable? It never occurs to me to try to guess someone's socioeconomic status.

If I had a house to rent ~ which I do not ~ I would of course want to know the person can pay the rent.

I'm not completely lost in a dream world. On the other hand, I completely don't care if the person is a working person, retired, on disability or welfare. If they can afford the rent, they can afford the rent.

But I would want someone who looks kind. I would want someone who is kind.

There are some specific reasons for that.

It's not just for conversational purposes. I believe kind people tread on the earth a bit more gently. They would care about their surroundings. She would likely grow a garden. He would likely treat his animals well. People who are kind surround themselves with other kind people.

Kind people are far more considerate of others and their impact on those who surround them.

Kind people are not completely self-centered. The concepts are incompatible.

It's not unlike what I seek in friends.

I do know a person with a kind face and approachable manner makes the world just a little bit brighter. It can't be faked. Fakery is transparent. When someone is truly content with his or her life, it shines from within.




jen said...

fakery is transparent. that is a great line.

i too, err on the side of kind. on the subtle giving, the bend in the face and words.

then i know it's all going to turn out ok.

Julie Pippert said...

The landlord-renter relationship is an odd one, usually, in my experience.

I notice that sometimes people seize on the concrete to try to explain a dislike or distaste.

It's rationalizing.

I wonder if D was doing that.

I look at eyes, body language, how someone holds herself, how she makes eye contact, how she speaks, what she says. I guess later I look at other thihngs, but I think that's what hits me upfront.

So yeah, I think I look for kindness.

Anonymous said...

The kindness is in the eyes and in the smile.

Hel said...

I also believe that kind heart is worth more than brains, beauty and wealth.

There is nothing as wonderful as knowing you can trust that someone will never hurt or judge.

flutter said...

kind of like your face, Chani. Kind of like yours.

slouching mom said...

my mother always used to tell me that people grow up to the face they deserve.

take oj simpson. has anyone noticed how ugly his face is now? and way back when, before rockingham court, on those avis commercials, he had a sweet face.

yes, kind faces are so important, and they say so much.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

A beautiful post, Chani. Like its author. I agree with every word.

I think it is incredibly karmic that with D's dislike of those who own nothing of value, she will again be one of them when V is done spending her money and requiring her to bail him out of his many expensive disasters.

Life has an infallible way of teaching us the lessons we most need to learn.

Christine said...

This post rang so true. Kindness shows right on a face. As does cruelty.

I agree with Julie--the landlord/renter relationship is weird one.

Tabba said...

The eyes. It all rests deeply and overtly in the eyes.

capacious said...

One of my friends was mean to a child in front of me once and when I asked her why she said that the child reminded her of herself when she was that age - dirty, needy, loud. She didn't want to be reminded.

You're right about D, probably.

Laurie said...

Right on, Chani.


Lucia said...

I'm thinking about this. Is it really possible to see kindness definitely in a face? I'm questioning what I do see when I meet people. I think I do look at how they're dressed, but sort of in the opposite way to D. How people dress to me sometimes signifies how grounded they are or how secure they are in themselves. I'm not sure I look for kindness in faces.

QT said...

Thanks for a thoughtful post Chani. I couldn't tell you what I look for, I think for me it is a gut reaction comprised of several different components, including the way they look.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can tell enough about a person from the first glance to make a judgment about them. I've learned that things are not always what they appear to be, and so the concept that you can tell much about a person from their possessions is flimsy.

I'm no expert at seeing beyond the surface, although, actually, I did OK when I hired people. I chose a wonderful woman to work for us, and she turned out to be pure gold; my manager chose another woman ("Look, she drives a Cadillac!") who gave us nothing but headaches.

KC said...

I look for a vibe- the face plays into that- but it's the feeling of genuine honesty. The real deal. This is how I've picked contractors, our former nanny, our renters...that kind of sincerity makes up for a lot of other flaws.

meno said...

This reminds me of that quote that goes something like this: A person who is mean to the waiter is not a nice person.

I have found that i cannot judge from a kind face, so i listen to the words and watch the actions.

thailandchani said...

Jen, thanks. :) Fakery is transparent. Truly. It is.


Julie, it is a weird relationship. No matter how friendly the relationship is, it is still a power-over relationship. D and I discuss a lot of things and I've been actively involved in her life ~ but I'm very aware of her attitude at the root. I just choose to ignore it.


Deb, definitely... that before the content of the conversation itself.


Hel, I believe that only secure people can be truly kind. Kindness doesn't allow for judgement and harshness.


Flutter, thank you. :) What a nice thing to say!


SM, right on where OJ is concerned. Of course, my face would probably look ugly, too, if I was carrying around the weight of two murders. :)


Susan, I do think there's karmic stuff with D. It amazes me how her kids walk all over her and all she can do is complain about it. Yes, she might end up in some serious trouble one day.


Christine, I do believe it shows in the face.. and the hands, too.


Tabba... yes.. eyes. Definitely.


Capacious, interesting rationalization on your friend's part. Part of maturity, I think, is being aware that other people aren't responsible for how we are or have been in the past.

I'm sure all that kid saw was meanness.


Laurie.. :) Kind faces... like those who seem to be surrounding you lately.


Lucia, you make a good point about dressing. It takes a certain level of security to be offbeat and unusual. I guess now that you mention it, I notice that, too.

Given the way I dress, I hope that is what people take away from it. LOL


QT, ultimately, it's the whole package. I know that I am automatically attracted to unusual looking people. The kindness in the face just cements it.


De, I think someone judging another by their possessions is a real sign of insecurity and unhappiness. Why in the world would something like that matter.. and what does it say that is worthwhile in any substantial sense?

I try to always see beneath the surface but can't say my perceptions are always right, either.


KC, inherent honesty is important, too... although I'll admit that's the one I've had the hardest time seeing in a surface sense.


Meno, good points. Definitely. If the actions don't match the words, all the kindness in the world is probably not very useful in the longterm sense.




MsLittlePea said...

Loved this post! Loved. it.