Before there were clickbait articles

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I  usually resist clickbait, but I did fall for this on One Thing Happy People Do Every Day (It Takes Less Than 1 Minute)  because I wanted to ascertain if it would relay the conventional wisdom of smiling to feel happier. It did. The only other thing it added was a suggestion for what it badly names going first. That makes it sound like cutting in line, but the writer really means is approaching the other person first, saying "hello," and the like.

 Clearly, Chris Heivly here considers this a huge chidush. But that's because he likely was never exposed to Pirkei Avos. Those 6 chapters of Mishna that we read in the weeks between Pesach and Shavuos contain a great deal of wisdom that applies to social and business interactions. Among them are two that cover his advice. One is the advice of Rabbi Masya ben Charash (4:20) " Be the first to greet every individual." And in the first chapter (15) the last part of Shammai three-part exhortation is: הוי מקביל את כל האדם, בסבר פנים יפות Greet everyone with a pleasant countenance.

Bearing this in mind, the next time I'm tempted to click something that sounds like clickbait, perhaps I'll just open up Pirkei Avos instead. If the advice online is for anything beyond modern technology and really holds up, it's probably already in there.





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