Feature: Can you smile for me?


Feature Photo by: Nathan Berhe – Eric Huynh, opinion editor, smiles for his senior photo.

Eric Huynh and Irl Paulalengan, Opinion Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief

I know that every single person in this school and this world has some type of stress: school, relationships, work, family, etc. But, there’s one thing that will bring you out of any of those funks — a smile. 

Each day I walk into Rangeview High School, I study people’s faces as they walk by. Of course, most of them are straight faces because we wouldn’t be walking around with a big grin across our faces (even if we are in a good mood); however, I feel like some aren’t in a jovial mood. They may feel isolated or disconnected from society. So why not lighten the mood with a smile?

A smile can turn a person’s day completely around.

When you smile, you lift your cheeks, you widen your mouth, and your eyes crinkles just so you feel spurs of happiness within you. That’s because your brain releases neurotransmitters called endorphins which are basically responsible for making people happy and calm. Even looking at one can release endorphins because you are going to catch that smile. In a sense, smiling is a natural drug.

Math teacher Mrs. Wetzel smiles for a photo (Eric Huynh).

“When I see someone smile, I think they are happy so that makes me happy,” said Cheryl Wetzel, a math teacher. According to Science Daily, we, humans, follow an instinctive response called “facial mimicry” which is reading the emotions we are fed from other people. It allows us to empathize and even experience their feelings; otherwise, it limits our ability to read and react properly to their expressions. In this case, your smile welcomes others and may change how their mood was.

There are even a lot of health benefits that comes with a smile: pain relief, lower blood pressure, stronger immune system, stress reliever, and the illusion that you look younger. 

“To me, [smiling] lets me know that, despite all the stress or troubles I’m going through, it still hasn’t gotten to me completely,” said Senior Nathan Berhe. “I’m still able to smile through it and retain everything that’s important to me.”

Giving a smile comes to no expense — it’s free. Although it’s not a way to deeply connect with others, just a simple smile and direct eye contact can resonate a message within them: they are human and they do matter. 

Personally, my smile is a way to welcome people and create an environment where they are comfortable in; it’s a way to demonstrate my character — someone they can trust and have a laugh with; it’s a way for me to influence my confidence and mood. Of course, there are some people who fake smile because they want to hide any other emotions they may have bottled inside; however, I go by the philosophy that you, and only you, are the one who decides how you feel today. Of course, people should let out and explain how they feel, but people should aim to look at the positive aspects of life and put that one big smile on their face and hopefully onto others. 

Smiling is a friendly gesture that has the capacity to improve someone’s day or make an awkward situation or conversation much more adaptable,” said Senior Phong Thai. “After all, smiling is easier than frowning!

You can’t control everything that happens to you, but a smile can change your perception of others and most importantly life as a whole. All I ask is, “Can you smile for me?” Because if you do, I will:)