Do poor people smile more often?

Do poor people smile more often?

Recently I watched a Netflix video on the Dalai Lama…

And he stated that poor people smile more often.

If the reincarnated Buddha, a fountain of wisdom and mystery for hundreds of thousands of people, were to hit me with a hammer, then perhaps I should listen.  Is that true?  Do poor people smile more often?  He certainly made me think…

The Dalai Lama explained that westerners, and wealthy people in particular, do not smile as often.

With higher net worth comes fear of protection.  He called it “excessive greed.”  Hmmm….

Is that true?

So I did a quick “Thought Experiment.”  Just like years ago in graduate school.  I imagined two isolated control groups and tested this thesis.

Group 1:  A recent gathering of parents and independent school students.  Dressed to kill for Prom.  At a private backyard.  With a photographer. Spectacular flowers and layers of gardens.  Private waterfall.  Limos waiting outside.  Dozens of spectacularly dressed young people.  Casually dressed parents.  Gnoshing on appetizers, wine, beer, cake pops on a stick. Casual conversations.  Smile factor among the higher net worth crowd:  4 out of 10.

Group 2:  A recent gathering of college students at an independent coffee shop.  Gatherings of 1-3 people.  Macbooks and ear buds.  Light music.  Sunlight cascading through the hexagonal shaped room.  Windows retrieved from some ancient church.  Plants overflowing from colorful ceramic pots.  Ripped jeans and tatoos.  Black grunge tee shirts sitting next to red flannel shirts.  Occasional outbursts of laughter.  Smile factor among the lower net worth crowd:  6 out of town.

These results are inconclusive.

What do you think?

Do poor people smile more often?

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