I Believe in Smiles

Melissa - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Put a smile on. Put a smile on. Everybody come on. Put a smile on.”

It is no wonder why McDonald’s old theme song was about smiles. For everyone knows a smile makes everybody happy. In fact it has been medically proven that a smile not only makes people move towards a positive attitude but a smile also allows the body to release natural painkillers called endorphins. Due to this medical phenomenon, family members of patients in hospitals are encouraged to keep their loved ones as happy as possible for the chance that they might recover faster.

Smiles are not only good for your health but they also give yourself a happy look. When people smile they give off a look of confidence and friendliness. This friendliness usually passes on to the other person, thus causing the receiving end of the smile to also smile.

Smiling is such a recognized characteristic of people that people undergo medical surgery and treatment in order to perfect their smile. Braces are a common example of people trying to improve their smile. However, it is not always the teeth that are changed. Recently an organization called Operation Smile was created in order to help children who have a cleft lip get surgery so they can smile like the stereotypical semi-circular smile. Through this organization, many children have undergone surgery in order to have a new smile.

When I was five, I remember going on an airplane trip as an unaccompanied minor in order to visit my cousins in Greensboro. This was my first trip away from my parents and I started crying in my first class seat while we were still at the gate loading loose baggage. Since I never cried just a simple whimper, the flight attendant came to my seat and tried comforting me. She said things like, “Would you like a blanket?”

And my response was, “No.”

“Would you like a pillow?”

“No.”

“Honey, would you like me to bring you some pretzels?”

“No.”

“How about some candy?”

“No, I want my mommy.”

She tried persistently to calm me but nothing would suffice except my mother and her reassurance. When the flight attendant ran out of ideas of how to quiet me, I became the responsibility of the co-pilot. The flight attendant instructed me to walk up to the cockpit since we were still at the gate, and knock on the metal door. I did as I was told and was allowed in. I spoke only briefly with the co-pilot because he seemed to have instantly tried up my tears with just a few words of assurance and a warm smile. I returned to my seat and took an hour length nap, the length of the flight, and woke up in Greensboro.

Looking back on my airplane experience and what I know about smiles, I truly believe in smiles and the power they can hold.