Jenny - Springdale, Arkansas
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Did you know it takes forty-three muscles to frown and seventeen to smile? Ever since I can remember, people have been telling me to smile. They tell me that when I don’t, I look like I’m really mad. When I see people in the city, nobody is smiling. I think it’s because they think they’re too busy to smile.

When I was about seven, a man from my church told me, “Jenny, you should smile; it makes the world a whole lot brighter.” I didn’t think much of it then, but now I actually try to laugh at myself and be happy about stuff. Laughing and smiling is not only good for you, but it is also a lot fun. I used to think very lowly of myself, so I didn’t like to smile. Now, I greatly respect myself as a child of God. Now, I know I have a reason to smile.

Now that I am older, it is a little bit easier to see which parent I look like more. I still struggle with smiling, so I look like my dad. He was the type of guy who wanted to look tough. If you weren’t afraid of him, he’d make you be. So I definitely don’t want to look like that. That’s another reason why I smile as much as possible.

When I meet new people, they don’t know what kind of person I am so they judge by my appearance. That means I have to smile more if I want to make any friends. I’m not the only one who suffers the disease of non-smileitus. Almost every person I’ve ever known does. The exceptions are the people who even when they frown, they look cheerful. I only know about four people like that.

In sixth grade, I was the “new girl”. I had moved half way across the country. I only knew about five people from my new church, and they weren’t even my friends. There was no room for smiling. I was so worried about whom I would be friends with and if I would get any friends. Little did I know, I wouldn’t have met any new people if it weren’t for a girl from my church. She didn’t know anyone either, but she introduced herself (and me) to everyone in class. She was the one who introduced me to some of my closest friends today. These people didn’t like me at first because I didn’t look very likable.

A year later, my best friend told me, “When I first saw you, I was scared of you. You looked really mean.” I didn’t know how my smile could change my future. I knew it was my expression that almost cost me some great friendships. Everyone should smile because when they don’t, their future isn’t looking so great.

I believe that when people smile, it does make the world brighter. So smile, it makes people wonder what you are up to.