A Smile Is the Most Beautiful Symbol in the World

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Here’s another story from Changing Every Day. When you finish reading, take the quiz to test your understanding!:

An Unforgettable Smile

Tammie Tai

A smile is the most beautiful symbol in the world. Since I left my hometown and came to this beautiful city, I have had many wonderful experiences. One is of a smile that is still in my memory. My heart always fills with warm feelings when I think about it.

One morning in February, just a couple of months after I arrived in New York, I was waiting on the subway platform for the train to go to my writing class. It was an amazing class for which I had been on the waiting list for several months. That day would be the first time for me to submit my article. I stayed up very late the night before, proofreading. I was very excited when I thought about sharing my article with my teacher and my classmates. The article was so meaningful for me. I enjoyed my work so much when I read it.

Suddenly, a train drove into the station; it brought a strong wind, and the wind blew the two pieces of paper out of my hands. The papers seemed to kid with me and kept on dancing in the sky. I had to follow one of them as it danced clumsily. Finally, the piece of paper had played with me enough and stopped in my hand. But what about the other one? I looked around and saw the paper flying toward the tunnel on the other side of the station platform. There was no way for me to get it unless I had wings. I was so disappointed.

At that moment, a young boy walked off the step. He must have seen how clumsily I had been fighting to retrieve the paper and realized how important it was for me. I saw him rapidly jump off the steps and stretch his arm out to catch the paper before it went into the tunnel. It gave me such a big surprise that I even forgot to say thanks when he handed the precious paper to me. He gave me a victory smile. I returned a big smile to him. We said nothing, just smiled at each other. And then he went into his train, and I went into my train.

The most touching thing for me was not getting back my valuable paper, but the smile. It was so special and so natural. In the smile I saw the real happiness in his heart he got from helping other people. And I knew he was not the only one in this city who would have helped me. It gave me such a nice feeling. It reminded me that there are so many helpful people in this world. You won’t be alone when you are in trouble.

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To read more stories from Changing Every Day, click here.

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