Paul - Muncie, Indiana
Entered on September 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Surprisingly, with over 190 different countries, 6.6 billion people, and an unidentified amount of symbols, there is one thing everyone understands, a smile. A smile can change anything and everything. In a crowd, a smile grows as if a wildfire of emotions. It is magical how thirty-two masses of calcium, phosphorus, and dozens of other random minerals can be so attractive. Nothing else in our world can be so simple, yet so beautiful. This is why I believe in the power of a smile.

Some might argue a smile is fundamentally independent of all biological needs of humans. Others say a smile can be traced back 30 million years from an emotional evolution. I have a hard time thinking that a smile could evolve from something so irate.

It would be impossible to tell all of the events that have made me smile over the years. They range from some how passing Spanish class to failing tests in Calculus because of “senioritis”. Yet certain smiles will stand out as some of the best.

When I was in middle school my cousin and I would always journey over to my grandparents’ lake house for one wonderful summer week. Even with hundreds of days on the lake, one certainly stands out in my memory. As always, we tried to knock each other off when tubing, while still holding on for dear life ourselves. After one colossal wave, I slid off of the end of the tube while still managing to hold on. After yelling at my cousin, for what seemed like hours, to stop the boat, my swimming trunks began to slowly fall down. After several eternities, I let go. At that point I might have been extremely embarrassed, but I still had a smile. Whenever my cousin and I think about going tubing we immediately smile, followed by a slight chuckle. To me, a smile briefly erases the worries of life.

When my grandmother passed away, it felt like nothing would be the same. Yet when I walked inside the visitation center, tears weren’t the only things I saw. Despite the lost of a family member, shimmering smiles were still seen. Although Grandma left us, she also left us with loving memories. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything else in the world. And although it felt weird at first, smiling was okay. It was probably the perfect thing to do at the time. Grandma would have wanted us to smile.

So whenever I am unsure about something, and want to relax, I smile. Whenever I meet some one new, something breaks, or a I make a mistake, I smile. And most importantly, whenever I feel like it, I smile.