This I Believe

Brett - dallas, Texas
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The need to know why you smile

When I was younger I smiled quite a bit. I smiled when someone said something that was funny. I never realized that funny had points as to why it was funny until the second grade. My teacher made us do who, what, where, when, and why. This is where you take a newspaper article and highlight and write about each of the five topics. This was the first grade I failed. I pleadingly asked her why I would receive this grade, she only answered in a shrivel tone that I did not present any serious tone when I wrote. At this point in my life I did what I was told, and everything else was a joke. I had always heard of suffering, heard about problems, but applied this to a memory of distant lands. Places that would never reach me, feelings I could ignore to maintain my quality of life. I was eight, who wouldn’t try that. My teacher continued to press this idea in which I was impossibly to happy. I wasn’t, but my smile followed a trend of reaction. She asked me one day if I cried a lot. I replied I cried no more than anyone else, and no less. I said this because I did begin to hear about the world with a keen vision; a vision by a mind that felt the emotions, not always comprehended the reasons. The more I did her assignment, the more I realized how cruel the world can be, and how much pain is brought on everyday. I spoke about this a lot in my papers for her, and eventually she called me to her desk again. I said I am not smiling anymore, she looked at me poised with interest. I said again, I am not smiling anymore. Again she looked at me, never really granting the acceptance of communication. She told me she called me because I did not have my why answered on the assignment. I replied I am not smiling anymore. See at this age, and even today, I explain the effects as a cause at times. What I meant was I did not know why the fights continued. I did not, no matter how hard I kept trying to understand. I told her I was not smiling, as the only way to explain what I had understood. So ever since than, I know why I smile. I smile because it means something, I understood value. I wish others would find a way to do the same.