This I Believe

Kelly - Skowhegan, Maine
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera

I believe that smiles spread happiness.

Every day I am reminded of this simple phenomenon. It never fails, at least once

a day I will be walking through the halls at school and someone will smile at me for no

known reason. When I catch the person’s eye and see him or her flash some pearly

whites simply as a friendly gesture, I can’t help but explode with a giant smile back. The

weird thing is, it’s not dependant upon the mood I’m in. I could have just broken my leg,

just cried over my boyfriend dumping me, or just escaped a surprise attack by a wild

ostrich; I would still be forced to smile.

I remember a time last year when one of my good friends hurt her knee playing

basketball. She was a star player on the varsity team and had been ever since her

freshman year. The injury was pretty severe and she would have no other option than to

have surgery. This meant she’d have to spend a great deal of time recovering, which also

meant no basketball for her junior year and a good chance of no soccer the next. I don’t

believe I have ever seen so much frustration in another’s eyes. This girl who lived for

soccer and basketball had just been told she’d have to sit out and watch from the sidelines.

It made me sad to see her suffer and have to deal with the frustration. The

amazing thing was her good spirit even as she hobbled down the halls on crutches. If she

seemed depressed one day, I would go up to her and say, “Good morning Kayla!” with a

huge smile on my face. I would never be disappointed because she’d always respond

with a hug and a smile back. It wasn’t just a fake smile either; it was a genuine smile that

stayed on her face for the remainder of the day. A couple of months after her surgery,

when she was able to walk without crutches again, she called me up one afternoon. I

guess she had been thinking about everything she’d been through lately, and she decided

to tell me how she felt. She said to me, “Kelly, you’re a great friend. If it wasn’t for

your smiles, I probably wouldn’t have made it. Thank you.”

This little two minute phone call let me know that a smile really does matter. A

smile is the simplest joy in life. A poem I once read by an anonymous author talked

about the effects of the smile: “…someone saw my grin…when he smiled I realized I’d

passed it on to him. I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth, a single smile,

just like mine, could travel round the earth.” I believe that smiles bring happiness to the

world. If ever you feel the urge to beam, to smirk, or to grin, I ask you not to hold it back;

you never know whose day you may make.