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This I Believe: It isn't a crime to smile

Essay By: Maci Barnwhales
Editorial and opinion



This is an essay I had to write one year in school for a writing class. It is based on the "This I Believe" essays on the radio in the 1950's. Enjoy!


Submitted:Mar 11, 2013    Reads: 25    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


This I Believe

It takes only 17 muscles to smile, but 42 to frown. I believe it is easier to smile. I believe in being happy even if it seems impossible. I believe that being happy isn't a crime, even when it seems wrong.


It was at the peak of my parents divorce. It was the worst time out of the whole process of my parents divorce. That year was full of anger and depression for me. I was riding in the car one night with my mom and brothers. I was angered, depressed and tired. I sat with a frown on my face and my head against the window. The radio was up and loud, blasting bubbly pop music. Everyone else in the car was singing and dancing, having a good time. I got so angry. I thought to myself, "Why would they be laughing? Don't they know what is going on in there life? They have no right to smile." I couldn't believe that they were happy. My parents divorce was making our life hard and miserable. How could someone have a good time knowing there life was crumbling? I just didn't understand. So i snapped at my mom, "How could you be laughing! There is no reason to be happy! Life right now for us isn't happy at all! How could you laugh?" I thought she was mocking me. She was happy and her life was bad. I was also jealous. I wanted to be happy too, but the idea of my current situation always crept out from the back of my mind. It felt so impossible to be happy.


My mom suddenly got this confused, frustrated look on her face. She knew i was having a hard time with the divorce. So she calmly responded, "Maci, I know that life is hard right now. Trust me, I'm having a hard time too. But you know what? I can still be happy. There is still things to be happy about. I know you think your life is hard and seems so hopeless, and you think that you have to be too, but you don't. It isn't a crime to be happy." I was so shocked at what she had said. It really made me think. We sat in the car in silence the rest of the way home, but my mind was hard at work processing what my mom had said. It really changed how i thought. Back then, I thought there was no point in trying to be happy, when you knew life was hard at the moment.


But now, I think different. I believe in smiling and being happy. I believe in the power of family. I believe that you can be happy, no matter what. I believe there is always a positive thing in your life, even if it doesn't seem that way. I believe in happiness. I believe in smiling.





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