Columns | Kane County Chronicle

Yo Joan! The upside-down frown turns us all around

“Smile!” the photographer pleads.

If you’re feeling all right, it’s easy. But if you aren’t, well, it’s probably still easy because that’s what we do.

“How are you?” she asks.

“Good!” you reply when really you’re not.

How is it possible to live an authentic life on this crazy, rotating, mixed up planet?

So you go home exhausted from all the effort of the day trying to be authentic in a world requiring otherwise. You take off your cap and your smile, sit down in front of YouTube and zone out.

Until you get up the next day, head off on your journey and someone asks, “How ya doing?”

“Good! And how are you?”


When neither of you are.

Could it be that responding honestly might cause you or the other person to linger a bit longer, ask a few more questions, discover a few more fascinating or not so fascinating things about each other?

Oh, come on, smile – just kidding. You don’t have to smile, for Pete’s sake! Or for Sally’s sake. Or for Mitch McConnell’s sake.

Mitch McConnell?

Because he never smiles and I’m sure for good reason.

Next time someone asks “How ya doing?”, try telling them. At least try.

Because as Sarah Ban Breathnach said so well, “The authentic self is the soul made visible.”

Right on, Sarah!

And if you can say “Sarah Ban Breathnach” fast three times, you’ve successfully passed “go” and don’t have to smile, but you probably will.

Joan Budilovsky can be reached at or at her website.