This I Believe

robyn - oak park, California
Entered on October 24, 2006

Smiling: the New Epidemic

“Smiling is infectious you can catch it like the flu. when someone smiled at me I started smiling too… so if you feel a smile begin don’t leave it undetected. lets start an epidemic quick and get the world infected,” Ricky D. Claar writes in his poem Smile. In his poem, Claar talks about that when you smile at someone, it gets passed on, soon reaching the whole world, like a contagious flu. I smile a lot, and know from experience, that people smile back and that small gesture can make someone’s day. I believe something as small as a smile can change the world.

I am a happy person and find smiling gets me far in life. When someone walks by, friend or stranger, I smile and it makes me happy when I receive the smile back. I like to think of it as even if they were having a rough day, that one smile I – or anyone else – can give them brightened their day, even the slightest bit.

A few months ago my brother was in the hospital for appendicitis. Sitting and looking around the waiting room, one lady in particular caught my attention. I looked at her, in her night gown, pale, looking very sick just waiting there and she looked up at me and smiled. I realized that no matter how bad things were going for her, she still smiled, looking positive. I smiled back at her and I could feel myself cheering up because if someone who was not in the greatest condition could smile, then anyone can. I thought, if that smile could spread across the world, maybe everyone will be just a little bit happier.

My friends ask me why and how do I smile so much, and it’s because of that warm feeling I have when I do. I walk around most of the time just smiling and laughing and I can tell that I cheer everyone around me up no matter what their mood. So the next time you’re walking around and someone looks over, give them a genuine smile. Who knows what wonders it can do for their day. They might even pass it along to the next person, until everyone around is happy and grinning. I believe a single smile passed on can make a difference in the world.