Beguiled Or...Smiling Faces

[Source: See Below...]

I grew up with the daily warning from my parents:

"Everyone that smiles at you is not your friend." And, "Laugh in your face, stab you in the back."

With these two parables and others at my disposal, the sayings instilled in me and my siblings an awareness of individuals and the information they imparted to us.

I was encouraged to wait and see what their actions entail. That brings to mind another saying my parents put forth to us daily..."the proof is in the pudding").

When you combine these seemingly harmless sayings, those were the clues that alerted me to a person's true nature and intentions.

I also came to understand that some individuals possess personalities that spread falsehoods. The aim is to deceive. In these instances, it is the communication outlet that gives voice to deception. For example, errors and omissions, misleading statements or information forms the basis of mass dissension.

Some forms of deception include:

  • Lies: making up information or giving information that is the opposite or very different from the truth;

  • Equivocations: making an indirect, ambiguous, or contradictory statement;

  • Concealments: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information;

  • Exaggerations: overstatement or stretching the truth to a degree;

  • Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth; and finally,

  • Untruths: totally misinterpreting the truth. 1

However, the most outrageous example of beguiling can be found in advertising.


As far as advertising is concerned, have you noticed in the past decades that, with every commercial, there is a catchy tune included?

Some advertisers include authentic music that society is familiar with. I truly believe that these advertisers assume that the song will sell their product.

In other instances, advertisers in all industries promote their products through the voices of celebrities. These celebrities include actors, athletes, and other individuals society has termed the "rich and famous."

If any consumer purchases a product solely on the basis of a familiar face promoting it for the company, then that individual has been truly beguiled.

On a more personal level and in the financial realm, individuals approach potential investors by claiming outrageous returns on their initial investments. The too-good-to-be true idiom should always come to mind when dealing with people who have the best deal you'll ever find.

Often times, as a potential investor, the promoter will issue a "clock is ticking" or "running out of time" on this fantastic deal.

I have found this to be true also in dealing with digital currency investments. The deadline to get in on the incredible deal sometimes mentally entice people into the "fear of missing out" mindset.

I do admit that I have been swindled by a few of these awesome deals in the past. I learned my lesson.

Often victims are ashamed of being taken advantage of. They refuse to acknowledge the incident to other family members or authorities.

The only real defense against being beguiled is your own research. When that proves insufficient evidence to move forward, then consult reputable individuals.


I remember as a child, insurance salesmen would park their vehicles in our neighborhood. They would then engage in a tactic called "divide and conquer". They would choose a street, separate, then each would walk their particular block, going door to door peddling their company's product to unsuspecting families.

Insurance policies were all the rage in the late 50s and early 60s. If you didn't have one in place, you were not being smart.

Numerous times, I would hear my parents flaunt the fact that they had "taken out a life policy". They were confident that their financial worries were over. If their neighbors and friends did not believe then, they would just stroll over to the desk located in the foyer, pull out the drawer, and show them the medium-sized, yellow pocket envelope with the folded policy inside.

The payment schedule would be printed on the back with the amount of the premium.

The insurance instruments sold to not only my parents, but others as well, we later discovered were merely burial policies worth in the range of $250 - $500 upon death. These sums were the total payout, even after paying monthly for over 25 years.

Twenty five years later, we discovered that expenses for a typical low-cost burial service was well over $10,000.

The insurance policy that the family member was proud to present to the funeral home was literally worthless. Well, not entirely. It would pay for the flower arrangement called the "spray" that lay upon the top of the casket.

As an adult, I worked for one of the insurance companies whose subsidiary sold the policies.

Once day sitting at my desk, I was shocked to read the back story behind the company's then recent settlement of the class-action lawsuit for this fraudulent practice.

I turned back the pages of time. I remembered my parents struggling to feed us while trying to put aside each week the money for the insurance policy.

You see the young "insurance man", dressed in a black suit, whose name was written on the front of the policy envelope, visited our home.

"He possessed such a trusting face," they would say.

He would smile, engage in small talk, comment how well-mannered their children were, and suggest that they were upstanding citizens in how tidy their home was. Upon leaving, he would pat them on the back and ensure them that they were investing in an honorable practice by keeping their policies up-to-date. He assured them that their family would be taken care of in the event of their demise.

Looking back on the young man's actions, that entire episode of our lives during those years reminds me of the lyrics of a 1971 song written by Normal Whitfield.


"Smiling Faces Sometimes"

"Smiling Faces Sometimes" is classified as a soul song. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label, the song was originally recorded by the Temptations in 1971, then re-recorded by the Undisputed Truth the same year.

Producer Norman Whitfield believed wholeheartedly in the song that he took a gamle it would become a hit by both artists. His gamble paid of handsomely. This dual release resulted in a number-three Billboard Hot 100 position for Undisputed. "Smiling Faces Sometimes" was the only Top 40 single released by the Undisputed Truth, and was included on their debut album The Undisputed Truth. 2

I know the work of Norman Whitfield delivering useful and truthful messages in his lyrics. Barret Strong is another musician with the same emphasis in his songs. I always chuckle at the words "your love is such a thrill, but they won't pay my bills...I need money." One of life's true statements.

When it comes to "Smiling Faces Sometimes", the song is a warning: smiling faces often tell lies. People will tell you what you want to hear, then reverse course and do the opposite, either cheating, scamming, or disappointing you. The song offers advice on how to detect these liars: look into their eyes. It's easy to fake a smile, but the eyes have a more difficult time disguising the truth. 3

The above statements strike to the heart of deception.

Individuals may be able to fool others with soothing words and comforting gestures, but if they avoid direct eye contact, it may be one of the signs that an underlying motive may be at play. This usually adheres to the saying "the eyes are the windows to the soul."

The song is on my playlist and in my daily lineup for listening pleasure.

I present below the second rendition of the song by The Undisputed Truth. I wanted to present this group's version first since I feel the lyrics are continuous and dive directly into the gist of song that is at the heart of my story involving my parents and their insurance policies.



When I wake in a foul mood or need uplifting after being, what I determine, deceived by someone, I listen to the longer, full version of the song Norman Whitfield produced for the famous Motown sould group, The Temptations.

The song was originally written for The Temptations. The lyrics encompassed an arrangement similar to a haunted house film score to represent feelings of fear and anxiety.

Included on their 1971 Sky's the Limit album, "Smiling Faces Sometimes" runs over 12 minutes. Most of this time is devoted to extended instrumental passages without any lyrics. This version established the epic, cinematic approach to the group's production that Whitfield would perfect on subsequent hit songs. 2

The cover for the album is an interesting theme and art scene. The group's members stand in various poses on a desolate landscape. The scene resembles individuals rising from the depths.

The original artists, The Temptations, takes you though a musical journey between lyrics. Being 12:44 minutes of listening pleasure.



Both versions of "Smiling Faces Sometimes" deal with the same subject matter, but in different ways.

The individuals who engage in "back-stabbing" are those who betray their friend's, co-workers, or business acquaintances behind their backs.

The lyrics "smiling faces sometimes, pretend to be your friend; show no traces of the evil that lurks within; they don't tell the truth; smiling faces tell lies". The lyrics inform the listener to not be fooled by "the smile, the handshake, or the pat on the back". 2

As the song relates to my family's experience with the insurance policy, I will always grimace when I think of the words the salesman told us that eventually proved false. He did this, knowing that my parents did not possess an educational level to understand the technical aspects of personal life insurance instruments.

When individuals are deceived, often the perpetrators go unpunished. Others may never been held accountable for their actions. These actions may or may not be criminal. However, in truth, a trust was broken due to moral and ethical obligations upheld by societal norms.

Also, this type of behavior is exhibited in other industries when individuals are attempting to persuade potential customers to purchase or invest in their products.

In the case of that young man from my parents' ordeal, he was eventually held accountable for this actions. As is turned out, the company alleged no wrongdoing. Its sales repesentatives should have upheld their sales policy standards.

This may be true; however, the insurance company and others who issued those type polices were held liable and prohibited from selling them in the future.

In the case of the company I worked for, they sold the subsidiary responsible for the duplicity.

But the damage had already been done to millions of people, who, like my parents were deceived.

Beguiled. Yes, my parents were.


This is the first time posting in the Q-Inspired by Music Community". My story "Beguiled". I created an original fractal art project as the thumbnail image, shown above. I wanted to explore the concept of the word "beguiled". The word may seem exotic and fanciful; however, to me it simply means "capable of being deceive in a charming and convincing way." In designing the images for many of my short stories, I draw upon my pure fractal designs and/or free sourced images. Below are the images I included to complete my fractal art project for my story:

[Created by me in Canva utililizing images below]


Thanks for taking the time to view my post. I hope you like my story inspired by the music and my freestyle collage theme image.


Good luck everyone with whatever your endeavors.


a) JustClickindiva's Footer created in Canva utilizing its free background and images used with permission from discord admins.
b) Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by me with my (i) Samsung Galaxy 10" Tablet, (ii) Samsung Phone, & (iii) FUJI FinePix S3380 - 14 Mega Pixels Digital Camera
c) Purple Butterfly part of purchased set of Spiritual Clip Art for my Personal Use
d) All Community logos, banners, page dividers used with permission of Discord Channel admins.
e) Ladies of Hive banner used with permission of and in accordance with the admin's guidelines
f) Thumbnail Image created by me in Canva.
g) "Flames." What is Apophysis 2.09.

1 "Deception". Wikipedia. Online at:

2 "Smiling Faces Sometimes". Wikipedia. Online at:

3 "Facts: The Undisputed Truth. Smiling Faces Sometimes." Music Album. Song Facts. Online at:



This is deep and touching. I made sure to read to end before putting my thoughts together even if I was tempted to reach some conclusions somewhere in the middle.

I'm of the school of thought that there's no human being that can claim that he or she has not fallen for some deception. Everyone has been beguiled/received at some point but it's sad what those insurance people did to your parents and others at that time. Is this form of beguiling common in the insurance industry presently?

I think most policyholders are literate and careful to read the terms and conditions carefully before agreeing to them. In the event things go sideways contrary to the terms sold to them, the courts are there to settle this matter.

However, my focus in this piece is on the question of consequences. You say:

When individuals are deceived, often the perpetrators go unpunished.

This may appear so to many people but it's my belief that perpetrators of wrongdoing, whether moral or ethical, always get their just deserts. Simply because we don't see or witness when it happens doesn't mean they have gone scot-free. We will always be accountable for our actions, whether or not we believe they are right or wrong.

I've come to accept that deception and beguiling tactics are part of life. Everyone wants to get ahead of others and so must resort to these tactics hoping it would give them an edge. I too have been swindled many times but I learn from each experience to avoid other ones. I guess that's one reason the advertisement industry is one of the most thriving industries globally. Hehe.

When I listen to music, the lyrics is the important part to me. If the song has nothing meaningful to convey, I don't bother. These artists are fantastic and their lyrics, especially that of The Temptations, are words of wisdom! "Beware of the pat on the just might hold you back". So true!

Your piece is refreshing and enlightening. Thanks so much for sharing. Take care and have a great day. !PIMP

Hello @kemmyb. What a delight when I saw your comments. Yes, I only listen to music that I can relax with and convey a significant meaning. I prefer the music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Those were artists and their songs that I can relate to.

Today, insurance companies practices are more under scrutiny to operate ethically than thirty or forty years ago. And individuals have more knowledge at their disposal to understand the concepts and read the important details contained in fine print. Thanks to the awesome former consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, many companies are compelled to be more visible in their business practices.

You know, when you say:

"This may appear so to many people but it's my belief that perpetrators of wrongdoing, whether moral or ethical, always get their just deserts. Simply because we don't see or witness when it happens doesn't mean they have gone scot-free. We will always be accountable for our actions, whether or not we believe they are right or wrong."

I do feel that perpetrators of wrongdoing do account for their actions at some point in the future. It may not be the kind of justice I would exact on them for their deceitfulness, but it may come in another form. Perhaps someone else will dupe them the way they have duped others. Or, it may be something else entirely that happens to justify their past action. Whether they learn from it and discontinue their immoral ways, some may.

The thing is that if we don't see the justice inflicted the way we think it should happen, then as human beings, we feel cheated out of the satisfaction of knowing the person has been punished for their actions. It's the knowing that brings us to conclusion.

Thanks or your visit, lovely compliment, the Token, and your support. I appreciate it. Take care and have a good weekend


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I think your parents' story is a good reminder that we should always be careful about who we trust and what we believe. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to lie and cheat in order to make a profit.

It's also important to do our own research before we make any major decisions, especially when it comes to money. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Hello @malos10. Yes, it is a good practice to always be aware and careful. Even though we dod this, there are still instances where we are misled. I feel senior citizens are the victims far too often of manipulative individuals.

As you say, there are always individuals who will do anything to get ahead, even if that means being deceitful to others. In the long run, I hope they will receive the justice they deserve for their misdeeds.

Independent research is the best way to counteract being scammed.

Thanks for your visit and kind words. I appreciate your support

Have a good weekend. Take care.


@malos10! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @justclickindiva. (10/10)

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Also, with a bit delayed comment to your post, but I am coming :D

Catchy music in commercials, yes, that is how it is. So many times we remember a commercial through its music, even from my childhood I remember several ones. And the products.

So the people from the insurance companies make business while singing? (just kidding) 😁

Thank you for your story with music, and welcome to the Q-inspired-by-music community 😇

Well, sort of making business while singing...a song of distraction, lolol. I literally hate commercials with songs and/or people singing. This won't entice me to purchase. Then the fast talker chines in to give you quick details, especially for medications.

Annoying to me. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and your warm welcome. I appreciate it. I hope to post again on a more happier topic and song :)

Take care and have a good start to your week.


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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and philosphy, an interesting read indeed.

Hello @stickupmusic. Thanks for your visit and kind compliment. I appreciate it and am pleased you found my content and story of my parents' ordeal with the insurance company interesting. The song surely does relate to their experience.

Thanks for your support. Take care and have a good start to your weekend.


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Hello @ecency. Thank you for visiting and leaving your support for my story on behalf of @combination's recommendation. I appreciate it from both of you.

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