Candid Camera, the hidden camera and prank show, started in the USA in 1948 and has been on television pretty much ever since. It has spawned copycats and now this type of show is familiar around the world. People are caught out either in a prank or perhaps doing something they shouldn’t be doing. The line, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!” was uttered when the host revealed himself in person or via voice over; the indication that you had been rumbled. Now this show was done for laughs and nearly always there was no real harm done, apart from maybe a few people suffering some embarrassment. It was meant to show how people behave when they think no one is watching.
Why do I bring this up for this week’s piece? It started when I read a post on Twitter from a chap talking about instant karma. It seems that the gentleman stopped to let a lady off the train and another male commuter swore at him for blocking his path. Later that day the swearing chap turned up for a job interview with the man whom he had sworn at. The news piece spread around the world – click here to read the story.
This was followed by a jovial conversation about me never getting a day off, if I step outside the door I must always be ‘The Perfect Gentleman’. Indeed, if I venture to the butchers at 6am wearing my gym kit I receive a ribbing for being ‘suited and booted’.
So, how do you behave when you think no one is watching? Are you always polite, kind and thoughtful? Do you step aside on the pavement to let others past? Or do you walk along with your head staring down at your phone, always in a rush and without thought for others?
The reason I ask is that you never know who you may meet and where you may meet them. It is a weird truth that when you are looking your worst you will undoubtedly bump into the person of your dreams. You might meet your future boss at a petrol (gas) station or a future investor on public transport. You just never know.
I remember reading an interview with Gwen Stefani, the singer, at the height of her fame. She said that she never left the house without making an effort in her appearance, she always got made up and dressed well. She said she owed it to her fans as you never know if you would meet one.
Another tale I remember is told about a businessman who went into the same coffee shop every day. He was always talking to the young man behind the counter, he was polite and helped him with his english, for which he come to London to study. He also wrote a guide for things for him to do. He made a small effort. Over a decade later, this businessman was on a trip to a South American country, where he had a meeting with the Prime Minister of that nation. The man who entered the room was none other than the young coffee shop worker, the two men then became great friends.
Therefore, your behaviour and appearance should always be at the best that they can be, indeed they should be as natural to you as breathing. Make an effort in your appearance, dress well and stylishly. Dress for the place you want to get to, so the saying goes. Behave politely and well to all that you encounter as it may take years or indeed hours for those actions to have consequences.
Yes, sometimes we do forget, or we let our emotions get the better of us, but at the core we should behave both outwardly and inwardly as we respect ourselves, each other and the world at large.
So ‘Smile, You are on the Life Camera’ and it shows who you truly are to the world.