This I Believe

Sara - bend, Oregon
Entered on October 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in smiling. I believe in genuine, straight from the heart, with eye-contact, smiles. I believe smiles can change lives.

True story. Boy smiles at girl. Girl smiles at boy. They fall in love. It started with a smile.

I believe smiles are an integral component within the whimsical nature of each person’s path through life. Smiles communicate an openness and receptiveness of personality that may result in unexpected meetings, new friends, lasting memories. Smiles have the potential to usher in influences and ideas to your life that you were previously unaffected by. They may send your life spiraling in an unforeseen direction.

Acknowledgement of another with a smile can be powerful. Even if a smile does not have a direct observable impact on that individual, your small gesture may mean more to them than you know. Even the briefest of smiles, the slightest of encounters can have lasting results. You don’t know how your actions will affect others. To any one person, a smile may have many interpretations. A smile may mean to someone, ‘Hey man, there’s people in the world who really DO care’. And perhaps they will pass you feeling a bit better about their life. Or maybe your smile will give a person hope that someone understands how they are feeling. A smile can brighten the day for a stressed out employee. A smile will get you more expedient and cheerful service at most businesses. Smiles usually make everyone’s day more pleasant. So smile!

I do not, however, live in a dream world. Smiles have the potential for negative results as well. A smile may invite unwanted attention, or bring a negative influence into your life. But life is full of highs and lows, and another smile just might pull you right back up out of a desperate situation.

Smiling at yourself is also necessary. If you do something embarrassing, it doesn’t help the situation to get angry. Smile, let the moment pass, and realize that you can’t change what just occurred. All you can do is deal with the consequences. And a smile will help.

For all these reasons, and so many more, I believe in smiling. Human life revolves around our interactions with other people. Smiles invite in new influences and are constantly changing lives. You may find yourself in a situation or place you never could have imagined. I know I have. And it started with a smile.

So: smile, people! You never know where it will take you.