This I Believe

Dakota - Martindale, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in all the power a smile has to offer. A smile truly says a thousand words, a million words, a trillion words. It is the simplest form of medicine for the heart and can be prescribed by anyone. You don’t need a PhD or years of schooling either, just the willingness to show those pearly whites in that I hope you feel better and I care about you way. It might not have the large paycheck that being a doctor provides or even anything close in terms of material things, but it does give you a feeling of satisfaction and a chance that maybe one day when you are down that favor may be returned.

There are certain days like the first day of school, which I don’t look forward to at all and even highly dread to the point of nightmares. Every year I come into the school and almost the entire staff has those fake “Welcome, we are glad to have you here smiles on”, when really they are thinking, “Oh look, here comes the next kid we get to torture for a year. And another. And another. Another. Another. Another. This will be fun.” Then I see one of the few really passionate educators in the school. The ones that truly love to convey knowledge to eager minds, and want to be not only your teacher, but also your friend. It is when that teacher smiles, and you can bet it is as real as the fact that I am back in school no matter how many times I’ve pinched myself trying to wake up from this nightmare, that I realize everything is going to be okay, and for a bit have to genuinely smile back, as I can’t help but not.

Smiling isn’t one of those phony anti-depressant medication ads you see on T.V. And it doesn’t have any negative side effects either. I know I’ve never heard, “Smile, it can save a life. Warning: Do not take if you are pregnant or have heart and liver problems. Is known to cause upset stomachs, headaches, and nausea. Individual results may vary.” So why are people sometimes so reluctant to smile? I can promise you the guy about to jump off the building doesn’t care about the piece of pepper in your teeth and if he even does notice it, I doubt he’ll say, “I’m definitely jumping now that I see that spec of pepper. There’s no hope. What is society coming too?” The pepper might even help get a smile out of him or maybe a laugh or maybe he’ll see it and save you from making a fool of yourself then feel important and not jump. It could happen.

So smile, when you get the chance. And stick a piece of pepper in your teeth for best results. It may change someone’s day or even save a life.