The Importance of a Smile

Chloe - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
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.

“Smile for a while like it’s going out of style; just a grin and begin.” My older sister used to sing a funny tune to those words whenever I was upset, as a child. Luckily, the humorous jingle always found a way to force a giggle out of my mouth. Having heard the peculiar lines and imprinted them on my heart, I decided to keep the song as a motto of my life because such smiles will surely last forever.

Though expressed through a mere curling of the lips’ edges, the meaning behind any single smile is irreplaceable. I first truly grasped this idea one chilly morning when I crept down the stairs of our humble home to find my mother facedown on the ground. Heart pressure complications had begun to interrupt her breathing cycle, causing a severe loss of oxygen. Instantly my heart dropped. Continuing to pound the ground as a signal for help, my mother looked helpless causing me to feel sick. Soon my dad appeared in the doorway and ordered my sister to drive me to school. Seeming as though only seconds had passed, I found myself sitting in first period Latin holding back tears. People began to stare. Suddenly bursting from my seat, I sprinted to the bathroom and a close classmate followed in attempts to comfort me. Smiling and listening with extreme care, she crouched silent as I half sobbed and half spoke about the horrible nightmare of a morning. She kept me from breaking down completely. I thank God for that girl’s genuine concern because her smile kept my heart from crashing in the lonely restroom. Her smile saved the day.

I believe a single smile contains the power to completely reverse person’s “rainy day.” Whether the smile- supplier is helping the homeless man on the street to cheer up, the distressed mother to forget her worries, the lonesome teenager to make a friend, or the sobbing girl to move on with her life, such wonderful people supply hope. Consequently, that smile can spread like wildfire just because a bit of kindness was shared. Even the princess in “Enchanted” realized the potency of a loving grin. Having fallen down a mysterious waterfall into the real universe, Ella finds herself in an unfamiliar New York City. People around her show no mercy and knock her to the ground in the haste of their personal lives. After a long day of asking crabby workers for directions, the fanciful princess sits down to confer with a random old man. “Can I have a smile, please? Oh just one smile to lift my spirits?” In the end, even princesses know the significance of a little smile.

I believe smiles can change the world. Like a flu, epidemic, whirlwind, flood, or tornado, they change everything in their paths. Though they are a minute aspect in the scheme of life, their power is commendable. I believe in the importance of a smile.