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The Smile This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   esterday, I saw a woman smile at a blind man. It was nothing big, just an encouraging little smile. But it made me begin to think about people in this world, and what a small act of kindness can do.

I thought about all the people- the old women, the homeless, the joggers, the workers, all of them that I had passed that day without even the slightest acknowledgement. Why had I turned away? Had I not wanted to appear too friendly, or had I just been too absorbed in my own life to pay any attention to the world around me? I began to feel that I was turning into just another statistic, joining the cold, unfeeling society that walked through its days like a zombie. It wouldn't take that much time to greet a passer-by, or offer a generous, "Hello." More people need to realize just how much a seemingly insignificant gesture can lift a person's spirits.

Our society is plagued with problems: homelessness, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, abuse, etc. The list goes on forever. Millions of dollars and an equal amount of hours are spent trying to fix these dilemmas. But, maybe we should look at how they began in the first place. If people had always looked out for one another, then difficult situations could have been nipped in the bud. And, the easiest way to let someone know that you are looking out for them, that you do care, is that all-too-unused smile. Just a smile. A smile from a stranger can stop a person's worries, brighten someone's day, restore someone's faith in mankind, even if just for a moment.

I still don't know about that woman who smiled at the blind man. Smiling could have just been a natural reaction for her, as it should be for all of us, and so she smiled without thinking about it. Of course, she could not have known that the gentleman was blind, but that doesn't matter. Her smile could have also made her feel better. It could have given her confidence that she was putting a little sunshine into someone else's life, and that she was important. Just that little smile did so much.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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