Waiting at the baggage pickup in an airport is never exciting, as usual my attention drifted to those from earlier flights, bags at their side searching the arrivals lounge for friends and a ride home. I observed their body language, tired from an international flight checking watches; they carried a sense of anxiety. Yet when they sighted the person they were waiting for their body straightened the anxiety left their face, along with the flight’s weariness. Eyes bright, body upright their face broke into a smile. It did not last long, but long enough.
Science tells us when we laugh or smile our mood is brightened and there is a release of ‘happy chemicals’ endorphins in the brain. Science explains what happens biologically when we smile; but not why we smile or why the travelers’ smiles faded shortly after they met the person they were waiting for? I was exploring these thoughts when a dog slid through the entrance and onto the animal pickup carousel just as the luggage from our flight started to rotate. As I searched for my bags and watched the dog: I remembered the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. ‘Why did Lewis Carrol’s Cheshire Cat do the reverse? The cat vanishes but the smile remains. --------------
This month’s In a Flap About Thinking question is, could we, or should we be more like the Cheshire Cat?
Come and join the young gifted thinkers as we explore this thought and more with our friends in the Born to Soar Community for gifted and talented students in online learning classroom spaces. A new way to experience philosophy for children.
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