This I Believe

Steve - Duluth, Minnesota
Entered on January 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

If there is one powerful thing that I’ve found in the world, it’s a simple smile. From the grocery store clerk, the lunch lady, the old man sitting on the bus, coming from basically anyone, smiles bring warmth to the world. A smile can be a gesture of reassurance, a signal to others of your joy, or a simple sign of contentment.

If a cute girl or guy were to flash a smile in your direction, wouldn’t you feel warm and fuzzy inside? I think you would! Smiles are one of the simplest ways to bring happiness to other people. Personally, I try to smile a lot, because it is true when they say that “a smile is contagious.” When I am having a bad day, I find things to do that make me smile, or I surround myself with people that can make me grin. The act of raising one’s lips in that flattened “u” shape just brings back some cheer. Then comes the contagious effect, ultimately it creates a spiral of joyful feelings that just builds and builds. There’s scientific evidence about all of this. When people genuinely smile, it releases endorphins in their brains, which are chemical signals that will lessen any physical or emotional pain.

When I know that someone is down, I get them to smile. By putting a grin on their face, I know that it’s making their time much better. This brings me back to the other day. My friend was having a horrible morning and called me, so I told her that I would come visit her for a while. Once there, and once I understood the circumstances, I immediately began cracking jokes and reassuring her that things were going to be alright. I also convinced her to go do something that she enjoyed, which is always a great path to a smile.

Smiles also come about naturally, just when you’re happy. It’s nearly impossible to not smile when you’re in a good mood. Just the other day I was walking along with a friend of mine and he asked what I was smiling about. I replied that I was happy, plain and simple. Sitting with my friends in the dining center last night, I looked around the table and all I could see was cheer. Everyone was laughing, talking, and smiling. The power of the smile is wondrous thing, and it is something that I truly believe in.