This I Believe

Alina - Alpine, California
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Smiles Are Contagious

Smiles act as a universal language that says to one another welcome, and offer a sense of happiness and acceptance. Once a person initiates a smile, the receiver tends to have an automatic reaction to smile back and offer the same welcoming; happiness and acceptance as the person gave off when they initiated the smile.

Through out my life I have changed locations all over San Diego moving from the coast to the mountains. I changed schools frequently and lost friends however gained many more. The trick I learned was to smile.

My Grandfather taught me the art of smiling while I was growing up. My mother was always hard at work and my Grandfather was the one who was able to travel far to pick me up from school and bring me home. Every day he would drive up and park in the parking lot by a big oak tree and wait for me after school. As soon as I arrived he would greet me with pearly white teeth and a great big; I mean a huge smile. Often I would go with him and run errands. One day, we stopped at the post office to drop off our letters to my great Grandmother in New Mexico. As we approached the post office my Grandfather would open the door, greet the clerk with a smile, and ask how their day was going and the reaction of the clerk was always to smile right back and say well. You could tell that it made their hectic day more at ease. Another one of our stops was the corner market where we would pick up my grandpas Lotto tickets. As soon as we approached the door the market owner would yell out, “ Why hello there Sam, is today your lucky day?” with a smile, and my grandfather would say back, “ well it better be,” With a chuckle and a smile. Then the customers in line would look at my grandfather’s smile, turn to the person behind them, and smile back until the whole market was grinning. The last stop before home was the ice-cream shop, which always put a smile on my face. The lady knew exactly what flavor of ice cream I wanted, rainbow sherbet, in a cone. Every time I came in she would hand it to me with a great big smile and a bunch of napkins. By the time I got home I was filled with delightment, peacefulness of the community and it made me forget about loosing friends and made me think of the many new faces I met, accepted me and enjoyed my presence.

If everyone took the time to smile just once a day the entire world would be peaceful and more at ease with their life situations. My grandfather may have not won the lotto yet but he has won a huge amount of friends threw one simple jester, a smile. Remember smiles are contagious, and spread happiness throughout the day.