A Smile Is All It Takes

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While reading the January issue of Reader’s Digest, I came across a topic titled “Be Kind – Its Good For You”. And I remembered some of my own experiences that I had while trying to do my own bit in making this world a better place to live though I did nothing drastic like giving out freebies to strangers in the road like the couple mentioned in RD.

All I did was smile at people. Of course I had enough sense to choose the strangers intelligently whom I bestowed my precious smile, only old granpas and old beggars among the males were favored. So when I used to walk to my bus stop, when I cycle to school nowadays, I smile at people. And some of the responses have knocked me down. Once I was waiting for the bus I saw an aunty with a small toddler walking hand in hand and I gave them a big smile.

The lady looked suspiciously at first but them smiled and came towards me. She asked my name and my school’s name and talked with me till my bus came and waved me goodbye. That day went beautifully for me and I made a new acquaintance just because of a smile.

But not all my experiences have been this good and one particular lady nearly convinced me to drop my act. I was along with my mom in a busy market place, she was scourging for groceries and I was looking out for anyone I knew to while away the time. And I accidentally had eye contact with a fat regal looking lady and I smiled, but her face which had been grim sometimes earlier turned even grimmer and she gave me such a dirty stare that many passer byes also turned around to look at me.

Some people craned their necks to get a look at me while someone said, “These modern girls!” Nobody knew anything but they simply assumed that somehow I must have done something wrong. I felt hurt and so embarrassed that I wished that the earth would swallow me. And for a week I stopped smiling at strangers. And then one day while going to my tuition waiting for the traffic police’s signal, I saw a beggar on the footpath, ragged dirty and hair matted.

She was a pathetic sight. She looked at me with hope but I had no money so I smiled and tried to put all the sympathy I felt for her in that smile. She stared at me for a few seconds and then her face broke into a smile and that smile is one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. I never saw her again but that smile still stays in my heart.

A glance into the memories reveal that all the cold stares I have got, are quite worth these few moments of joy. And even today when I go to school I smile at complete strangers. With such high level of stress and anxiety among people, a smile is all it takes to make a day more beautiful and more enjoyable.

Author : Pratikshya      |     City : Bilaspur     |     Age : 16

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