The impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey

Mia Farrow and Robert Redford in 1974's film version of The Great Gatsby.

Mia Farrow and Robert Redford in 1974's film version of The Great Gatsby.

This is one of my favorite quotes. I didn't notice it when I read The Great Gatsby as an assignment in high school. Instead, I found it on friend's Facebook wall years ago when the social network was only available to college students. For some reason it hit me at just the right time in my life to inspire me with joyful determination to always smile at people this way. I usually don't, but maybe that's something I can -- should -- work on. What do you think?

He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
photo credit: brandon sargent via photopin cc