This I Believe

Kelsie - Fairfield, Maine
Entered on January 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that a smile can make someone’s day, change the world, and end wars. I believe that all people in this world have their own unique smiles that can be so uplifting to others or even themselves. A simple smile can change a mood, release feelings, and ease tension.

When many think of someone’s smile, usually what comes to mind is if the teeth are straight, how white the teeth are, and how big or small the lips are. But I think others should look into the meaning of every smile. A smile can show love, excitement, friendship, or even dislike.

About a year ago, my friends and I went to an award banquet where we all were recognized for our talents. Parents and loved ones were present; the tears were flowing and noses were blowing. One of my shyest friends received an award and made her journey to the microphone. She had her speech planned out but I knew how nervous she was. Once she started to speak, she too was soon in tears. I watched as her cheeks turned red and she turned her head away from the microphone in embarrassment. After a few seconds she turned her head back toward the microphone and attempted to build up the courage to continue. As she scanned the room in what seemed to be a loss of words, she caught my eye and I flashed her a smile. At that moment I wanted to tell her that she was doing great and that I knew she could finish. I honestly believe that she knew what I was thinking through my simple smile. After she looked away, she turned toward the crowd and finished her speech with confidence.

Today, many people in this world don’t attempt to stop and just flash a stranger or even a close friend a smile. Most think that if they smile at a stranger walking past they will be perceived as flirting, when that could be the farthest from the truth. In reality, a smile to strangers can lift their spirits or be a symbol of gratitude. In some situations when words are hard to find and the mood is depressing, a smile can say everything. It can say, “I’m sorry”, “I care about you”, or even, “Get over it.”

My grandfather once told me, “If someone ever bullies you, whether it be in everyday life or in sports, just give them your best smile back.” He taught me that a smile can reveal that you just don’t care what others think and that you’re not going to let them get to you. He said, “Let them know you’re happy.”

There are big smiles, small smiles, fake smiles, excited smiles, and sad smiles, all of which need no words to describe how a person is feeling. I believe in the power of a smile.