Does the person who creates an air of discomfort with the RBF have a level of moral culpability?
The RBF: resting bitch face.
An innocent and harmless expression?
Or a culpable and harmful one?
I started wondering about that after reading Jacques Philippe’s observation in Real Mercy that a look can give life or give death. There’s a way of looking at people, says Philippe, that gives goodness, mercy, encouragement, and hope. And there’s a way of looking at people that accuses, closes, judges, and rejects.
If there’s a way of looking at people that is so full of moral implications, is there a way of looking in general that does the same thing?
I used to think, “What I do is between me and my God. I mean no offense to anyone else, so my moods, tempers, and outbursts are my affair.”
Then I read Francis Fernandez’s observation that “gloominess does great harm . . . to those around us.”
Mere gloominess does that?
“Frick,” I remember thinking. “I wonder what throwing the stapler against the wall and referring to a form of prison bonding does to those around us.”
It was an “a-ha” moment, but an embarrassing one. I had become fully conscious of something at age 40 that most people intuit by age 17 and understand by age 22.
So what about the RBF? Is she … Read the rest