This I Believe

Laura - Gaithersburg, Maryland
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • 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 the world is a nicer place when you smile even if you don’t feel like it at that moment. Whether it’s smiling as you pass someone on the street, the construction worker controlling traffic (who probably gets a lot of other gestures none of which are a smile) or just smiling at your family and co-workers. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to yell or be mean when you’re smiling. There’s something in the body that when you smile your eyes crinkle and your chest expands as if taking a deep breath. And I think your brain says “hey I’m smiling. If I’m smiling I must be happy. Since I’m happy I can’t be sad…” And it builds from there. And it is amazing how smiling at someone produces a smile back. And then that person goes through the same little moment of euphoria that I just experienced. What a neat feeling…to cause a smile. But I think I believe the most important part of smiling is that it makes me feel good; the really deep down good. I love to smile when I see my children accomplish some little task that was important to them and them alone. I smile when I see a beautiful sunset. I smile when I watch a silly cartoon on television. I smile when I think about how lucky I am to be loved. And I smile when I think about my relatives who have passed on because I know they are smiling down on me. I’m sure I have passed oodles of people who have seen me smile for no particular reason (I was probably just smiling because of some delicious thought I just had or recalling some fond memory). I know this life and this world are hard places and it feels like it’s getting harder every day. I have no illusions that I am safe and protected from the bad and the ugly. But smiling is such a little thing, such a simple thing and each morning I wake up and I thank whatever power that is that I have another day to smile.