A Smile Can Change The World

Hello Folks!

I wrote this as a project in class, and yet I find that it still holds itself to be more than true. Please, read and enjoy.

Smile On Purpose

“Smile.  Have you ever noticed how easily puppies make human friends?  Yet all they do is wag their tails and fall over.”  ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

I believe that one smile can change the world. Too often people take for granted the type of profound effect that a smile can have on and in the lives of another human being. And, too often, are we not willing to go out of our way to help another in need, whether they realize it or not. It’s important to know that you will not always be aware of the struggles that another individual is currently going through, but life is rarely easy for anyone.

One thing that I have believed is that I want to start and go about my day as if it were on purpose, and to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Some years ago, this would’ve seemed an impossible task for me. My family has struggled financially in the past, and this particular winter was even worse. We were homeless, not just without electricity, but also without a roof over our heads. So, we slept in my mom’s broken down car, that couldn’t even start up. Worse than sleeping in the cold, was having to walk the cold, shivering miles to school in the morning and hope we find enough loose change to perhaps catch the bus back “home”. Once at school though, or anywhere for that matter no one knew what issues were going on back “home”, and yet my teachers inspired me every day just by standing in the  front of the room with a smile on their face. I’d wake up from my curled position in the backseat, hoping to one day be able to emulate them, but not just limit the power of my smile to my peers or family members. I wanted to one day change the world.

Fast forward to the 21 year old young man that walks in my shoes every day, I put that same principle into practice. On average, I generally see more people that I do not know, as opposed to those that I do know. Quite frankly, I like to be the life of the party. I like to be the individual that people look forward to seeing, and can trust to share troubles with, and all of that starts with a smile. It’s not the awkward smile that the 50 something man on the subway would give to you, or that creepy smile that catch from someone that is secretly admiring you. It is also not a forced smile with the idea that if you smile just a bit harder, they will get the hint and hurriedly walk away. No, the smile that I put on my face in the morning, that lasts until the very moment I am asleep, is a smile that simply says, “The best is yet to come.”

My time being sheltered by that 1999 Buick Century, taught me to cherish what I did have instead of harping over the things that I did not have. It taught me to smile for the joy of life, and the expectations of life, as opposed to the sorrow and the hardships. It taught me that no matter what, a smile can change things. I see that, now,  whenever I am speaking to a friend, stranger, or even to myself (LOL). My smile is my calling card, as it is usually the first thing that people remember about me. My smile is my “Hello, I am DeVante,” my introduction, my salutation, and my way of combating the darkness that life is continuously tossing my way.

Smiles are contagious. If someone is sharing their shit-eating grin with you, your natural response is to smile back at them as hard as you possibly can, even if you don’t plan to. A smile is important because it shows that you care, without ever having to dig deep into their issues, and their lives. A smile is the quickest way to talk someone into believing in themselves, even when they are in their darkest hour. Out of the 100 strangers that you can meet on any given day, if you make 10 of them smile, that’s a start. Those ten in turn, will make another ten people smile, and so on and so forth. One smile is the equivalent of throwing a rock into a pond, strongest at its initial point the ripple effect takes hold of individuals nearby and could change their lives forever.

The key to changing the world comes in our ability to believe in the impact of our smile. As always confidence is key. They say that one person may not be able to totally reshape the world, but I would have to respectfully disagree with that. Armed with a genuine smile, no situation cannot be conquered. No fear can overwhelm you. No darkness can dim the light from the power of a smile. No one can escape the ensnaring effects of a smile. So, make an effort to go above and beyond to make a person smile. It’s the most cost-efficient way of going about something. So, with each step you take, with each new face that you gaze into, smile as if they were a long lost friend at the airport. Smile as if it is the only thing you know how to do. You never know, your smile in America, can help someone else smile in China. Trust and believe, a smile CAN change the world.

Check Out The Video I Made To Go With It

Smile on Purpose from DeVante Baldwin on Vimeo.

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