Diane - North Salt Lake, Utah
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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As I was walking down the street one day, someone smiled at me. It was no huge act of kindness, or large sum of money, but it made my day. All too often, we become caught up in the daily rush, too busy thinking our own thoughts to even notice those around us. So as I walk, I make it a point to look at people and smile. Often, they avoid eye contact, but every once and awhile, someone smiles back. And you can see it in their eyes as you pass them- they are pleased someone took the time to notice them. It changes my whole outlook, and gives me reassurance; we are all in this together. You can tell a lot about a person by their smile. Some are open and warm, some are guarded and shy, and some are very distant; because everybody has their own smile, their own way of expressing themselves. It separates us from each other, makes us unique, even as it brings us together in a mutual show of kindness and love.

Smiling is a universal symbol. No matter where you go in the world, if you want to show you come in peace, you smile. It becomes a tradition of society; we smile, and extend our friendship to others, without any prerequisite. It opens a door for us; we can talk to any who will be receptive, form bonds and relationships with them. This is the peace offering of the sidewalk, where we make split second treaties with complete strangers.

Smiling is the basis for our own happiness; the act itself can make us more optimistic. It is a sign of our inner state, our attitude towards the world around us. By smiling at others, we can share a bit of our perspective with another individual, in a surprisingly intimate act. We focus directly on one person, acknowledge their existence, and show that we are glad they are there. So next time your walking down the street, take time to notice those around you, and help to spread the joy. Who knows- you may find your own peace as you do.