This I Believe

Katie - Pleasant Grove, Utah
Entered on May 22, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of a smile. A warm genuine, bright, luminous smile.

It was a chilled winter afternoon when I picked up a sandwich at the Gateway Mall food court right before I headed to the big BYU-U of U football game. I looked up when I was finished, and saw a pair of BIG milky brown eyes. He looked like a “typical” homeless man: Scraggly unwashed hair, torn, dirty clothes, and very old ripped boots. Past that though, I noticed one thing most of all–he appeared so empty. No sparkle in his eye; looking so sad and depressed. It struck me that he felt that nobody in this world cared about him. That made me sad. Maybe this guy, who appeared to be somewhat of an outcast, was looking for someone to recognize him as a human. I knew at that moment what I should do – give him a warm smile. It wasn’t much but as soon as he noticed my smile, he lit right up. His countenance shone just a little brighter in that instant. I knew that he understood I cared, even for a brief time, that there were people out there that at least tried to understand him and not judge him at first glance.

Though this gesture was not a big one, it made all the difference in how that man looked in that second.

I believe in the power of a smile.

I never know what kind of an effect a smile will have. A smile can communicate thoughts and feelings that words cannot adequately express. One time when I was really feeling a little depressed, my mom came to sit with me. She knew exactly what was going on but she didn’t say a word. She offered a smile. That smile communicated to me that she really cared about me and she was here to help me. I knew that my mom would always be here fore me, and I cheered right up. Smiles offer comfort when I am feeling down. They offer encouragement when I am trailing just a little behind. There is something about seeing the twinkle in somebody’s eye and the brightness on their face that gives me hope when it seems that there is none.

I believe in the comfort of a smile.

Studies have even proven that when your mood is a little blue, and you force yourself to smile, you will actually feel a change for the better in your mood – that is powerful!

It may seem that everyone has at one point or another experienced this power. We cannot assume this.

The guy that I saw seemed like he hadn’t ever felt this power; but with a small gesture and a big smile — he had felt it. Even though only saw him for all of five minutes, I know he walked out of there feeling a little different – maybe even happier.

I believe in the healing power of a smile.