Strength of a smile

Sometimes I feel like the beauty of a single smile has been lost. A smile has the ability to change a person’s life, which can potentially change the world. This is something that I have always believed and have incorporated into my daily schedule. Now, more than ever, do I believe the lasting impact a true smile can make.

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It is hard to look at a stranger and smile at them. I am not just talking about the physical movements of the mouth, but a true smile from the heart. This is mostly because in every single smile a little bit of yourself is given to the other person and given to the world. On our first day with the children, I knew it would be difficult, for both the children and myself. We were unsure of one another and needed a little bit of time. I, however, underestimated how quickly we would all open up to one another and simply feel free. And after just a few games of cricket and la gory (a game that they taught us) we all seemed to have smiles on our faces.

It wasn’t until later that I realize the power that each one of those smiles held. I was playing a hand clapping game with one of the younger boys. It was a very simple game that didn’t involve much more than me moving the placements of my hands, either out in front of me, high above my head, or low below my knees. After a few minutes of switching between those three positions, I decided to move my hands out of the way at the last second, causing him to unbalance and merely high five the air.  At that moment, he looked up at me with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.

It was a smile that truly warmed my heart with its love. It was a smile that released his true, innocent happiness into the world. Within the short amount of time we had spent together, we were able to overcome being strangers and create a friendship. For a moment, it seemed as though time had paused and without even realizing it, I couldn’t help but smile right back at him as I got ready to place my hands in the next high five position.

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After reflecting on my day, I realized that this experience has shown me that something as simple as a hand clapping game, where the only things needed are two individuals willing to be open with one another, could create something as beautiful as that smile. And, although it can never be captured in a photograph or replicated in any way, the beauty of that smile will always remain in my heart and stay with me wherever I am. 

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