The Power of a Smile

Shelbi - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Everyday we are faced with constant struggles and chaos in the world around us. We are told our efforts are fruitless and problems can’t be solved. We are made to believe that what we do probably won’t make a difference and we take that as our cue to give up hope. I believe though, it’s the incentive to rise to a challenge. We’re being challenged to take the small steps and do what we can, even when our efforts seem fruitless. I believe you have to think big and start small and start with the people around you. I believe I’m doing my part to change the world everyday, because I believe in the power of a smile.

Being involved in the high school youth group at my church, I’ve had amazing opportunities to love and serve people who are “less fortunate” or in need of the help that I can give. I treasure these opportunities, to see smiles on faces that haven’t had a reason to smile in quite some time and knowing that I’m the reason behind that smile. What I treasure most though, is taking that feeling home and spreading that joy to someone else. Changing lives doesn’t start and stop with a mission trip or any specific outreach opportunity. I don’t need to go to Mexico or Haiti every year to know that I’m making a difference. I know that there are opportunities to change the world right around me, one step at a time, one person at a time, one smile at a time.

I’m not a completely unrealistic person by any means. I don’t find myself daydreaming of achieving world peace or eradicating hunger and poverty. I do know though, that it only takes one person to make things happen, and I know that could be me. I want to be that spark that ignites the flame that’s continually passed on, the smile that creates a chain reaction of beaming grins. I believe there’s nothing more healing than letting go, taking a moment and soaking up all the reasons around you to be happy. I think the first and biggest step to healing the world’s problems is healing ourselves and those around us first, and there is no more therapeutic way to start than smiling. I’m doing my part to begin that healing.

I smile because I can’t find a reason why I shouldn’t. I smile because I hope I can help someone else find a reason to smile. I smile because through something so simple, I know I’m making a difference, because I believe there is nothing more powerful than a smile.