The Perfect Antidote

Allison - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on May 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Notorious for her constant and sometimes ridiculous lecturing, my grandmother once told me that, if in a life and death situation, such as faced by a man holding a gun to my head, I should simply smile. When given the response, “What the hell are you doing?!” by this man, I should then tell him I only have good intentions and feel he needs a smile. Possibly seeing me as a true person, the man would spare me my life.

My grandma has always stressed the importance of wearing a smile on my face: that it can brightens someone’s day. As a result of this, I find myself walking through the halls at school, smiling at everyone I pass. This isn’t an easy task, either; I might pass someone I don’t particularly like, someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate my simple gesture or, at worst, my cheeks will begin to hurt. However, I believe that a smile can be the best medicine for anything.

I’ve discovered that, just by changing the expression on my face, I can change my mood. This applies to everyone. The phrase “turn that frown upside down,” pretty much sums up what I believe. Today’s society puts so much stress on material things, but some of the greatest things in life are those you can’t touch. People do amazing things everyday, ranging from a simple smile to a mother forgiving a murderer convicted of killing her child.

The best thing about a smile is that it contains this irrevocable kindness; it’s an act that can’t be erased. When babies begin to smile, a radiance beams from their tiny faces.

When two people in love smile at each other, they feel there’s no better place in the world. When someone is dying, that one smile is what seems to keep them going. The power wrapped up in such a little thing is so immense. If everyone smiled, I believe the world would achieve peace.

Waking up, something usually viewed as undesirable, the first thing I do is sense the light coming in my window and smile. I’m always thankful to have another day here on this earth. “God has given me another chance,” I think to myself. I walk downstairs and find my parents either making breakfast or preparing for the day. They smile at me and say good morning, a motion some may not think much of. To me, though, it’s what provides the determination I need to have a wonderful day.

To cure hostility, stress, sadness, insanity, or a willingness to give up, use a smile. It’s the perfect antidote.