This I Believe

Simi - Michigan
Entered on January 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.


I believe in smiling. I believe in smiling because when we smile, even when we are not happy, we can make ourselves believe we truly are happy. Then by being happy ourselves, the feeling spreads to others around us and makes the world a better place.

One day when I was walking down the hall in school, I happened to make eye contact with another student I did not know, one I had not even seen before. When I looked at her, I smiled because it was a nice thing to do, even though I was not really in a good mood. Next thing I know, as she is passing by, I see her smiling back. It was a small gesture, but it turned my smile into a real one, and kept me smiling all the way to my next class.

Pretend it is your very first day at a new place, like a job, school or neighborhood. You do not know a single soul. You go about rather timidly, wishing you were brave enough to interact with the other people, maybe even long enough to make a new friend or just have a good time. After awhile you realize your shyness is not getting you anywhere. So, you pluck up the courage to go out there and look like you are happy and enjoying your day, even when on the inside you are really not. Bit by bit, people will notice, and in return send you a smile, at very least. Inside you will not feel so lonely anymore, and continue your day in good spirits.

Smiling connects us to people. A smile conveys a message anyone can understand, even if they do not speak the same language. If you happen to be passing through a station, take a second to smile at someone on the platform. They will smile back at you, I am sure. Right then, without even realizing it, you have just shared a moment with a complete stranger, and shared with them a bit of good will.

Smiling drives us to a happy place. Whether you are faking it or not, eventually you feel happy, and want to share your happiness with others, just through the simple joy of a smile.