Why we should be more tolerant of those who never smile.
"Yogananda Paramahamsa has a beautiful suggestion for thawing the arctic state of our feelings; it is for all of us to become smile millionaires. This is the kind of millionaire that everyone can be, because everywhere we go we can always smile," Eknath Easwaran has observed. While many people are able to do this social practice with ease, there are others who have a hard time smiling at others in a natural way.

In a column in The Week, Iosif Sternin states that Russians are "a famously unsmiling people." Whereas Westerners beam brightly as a sign of politeness toward someone they've just met, Russians look upon this as a "duty smile" that grows out of insincerity. That is why they rarely smile at strangers. One Russian explains: "We're a cheerful folk; we just don't wear our emotions on our faces."

This cultural observation helps us to be more tolerant of those who rarely crack a smile. It may be part of their nature or it may be due to their culture or tradition. When they do smile, rejoice that it definitely is sincere and comes from the heart.

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