YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

A Reader Writes by Anna Lillian Mercado: A smile can go a long way

April 22, 2002

Why does it seem like people have lost their sense of communication?

This matter may not apply to all, but the fact is that people forgot how to say hello, give a smile or ever say thank you.

It seems like the simple things in life are the most complex. I must admit I may not use these manners at all times, but I sure enough try to use them as much as possible.

I have come to the conclusion that the more you use these manners, the more it becomes a part of your daily conversation. It's also a good thing to have at work, at school and in this busy world we live in.


I have examined that people need hope in their lives, not necessarily to have someone who cares all the time but to know there are still people that care.

Not wanting to talk about the sad tragedy, but there are thousands and thousands of people in New York who need that hope, that smile and that person who cares. May our love and prayers be with those families.

I know how people are faced with various problems or situations throughout the day. Working with at-risk youth, I have come in contact with many of these people.

I had a young couple come into my work who had just moved to the Imperial Valley from the Los Angeles area. Very nice and generous people, without a job, living from hotel to hotel, they came in search of hope. I tried my best to help them; I did manage to get them both an interview at a local restaurant, not knowing the outcome of the interview.

I do know they were so pleased that they brought back a slice of cake, and that was enough to make all three of us feel better about ourselves. Unfortunately I lost contact with the couple, but I do pray that they be in the best care and spreading their generosity to others.

Imagine a world with no smiles, not a single ounce of hope and no one who cares. I cannot imagine how it feels to live in a place like this.

We are all different and we all have different ideas and opinions. I also believe we should all stick to those because that's what makes each and every one of us different. That's what makes us who we are. It's always nice to run into those people who share your ideas and opinions, the ones who understand where you're coming from.

Trust me, it's good to have an open mind. Learning and taking in from the world will never get old. Understanding others is something we can all use. Communication is something we all need and communication doesn't always come through words. Communication comes in many forms.

It may be through a smile, handshake, gestures or a simple gift. The more we learn to communicate with people the more we learn from each other and for ourselves.

I think learning is a growing process. It's a way to grow with oneself, and what better way to grow than mentally?

It's not what you do that makes a person, it's what you make yourself be that makes you.

Growth is the creation of oneself, and communication is the process to this growth. Communication with oneself is a great way to start; communication with others is a great way to go. Judging people will get us nowhere. Learning about people and about the judgments we make toward them will teach us to understand them and their choices, a much simple and less complicated fact.

Don't you think people look nicer when they smile, seem friendlier when they talk? It's sure enough that many of these things don't take much effort on our part, so learn how to apply yourself to it and apply it to the world.

Who knows when our time will come and who knows what's after this? For many it's heaven, for others it's simply death, maybe a different world to live in.

"There are the things known and the things unknown and in-between are The Doors (quoted by James Douglas Morrison 1943-1971 poet/singer)."

We are born to live and we live to die. Why not make our time a better time, a time to learn and explore not only ourselves but also the world?

I may be writing about smiles, death, communication or simply my thoughts, but whatever it is I'm writing about I hope it gets out.

So next time you happen to be out take the time to say hello, give a smile or help someone out. It will not only make that person feel better it will make you feel better. Believe it or not, we all like to feel good.

>> ANNA LILLIAN MERCADO, 17, is a senior at Southwest High School in El Centro. She works at the state Employment Development Department and plans to study photography in Los Angeles.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles