This I Believe:
Making Someone's Day Better

By Emma Miller

Everyday I ride in the same silver, yet slightly moldy, Honda Pilot. I travel down my obnoxiously long driveway, turn onto the dangerous road wherever one speeds and I ride to school. After the most glorious Elton John filled twenty minutes of my life, I arrive at school. I get out of the car, tell my dad I love him and as I shut the door he says the same thing he says every time, “Make someone's day better today” in this weird nasally voice that he tells all his dad jokes in. To which I usually respond sarcastically, “I make everyone's day better just by being around cause I’m just so awesome.” 

So, I go about my day, usually forgetting to make someone's day better until I see a pair of shoes I like, like Ms. Lowe’s white boots with the clear blue heel or Clara Monahans alway’s perfect eyeliner or maybe Claire Millican’s cool earrings that look like two goldfish. Normal Emma, focusing on making it to math in time without getting yet another tardy pass and without dropping my already chipped coffee cup, would only mentally think about your cool shoes and not mention it. But then that nasally voice tells me to make someone's day better. And after a dreadful three years practicing speaking to people, I finally say it. And after a wonderful three years of Logan Roy always saying “Hey Emma!” in the hall, giving me the much needed courage, I finally say it. And that person smiles. And for a brief fleeting moment, the sentence my father has said to me every single day for all of high school finally makes sense.

I get the joy of noticing said persons' unique smile and the crease in the corner of their eyes and them saying “Thanks!” And I know that even if that person doesn’t remember what I said, I made someone's day better. 

Now I would like to tell you some intricate reason for why I listen to what my dad tells me. I wish I could have some beautifully structured paragraph as to why being a kind human matters to me. But in the spirit of (insert my twins paper here) being brutally honest I believe in saying kind words to let people know they’re seen. I believe in small compliments or saying hello to someone in the hall because of all the times I’ve felt invisible. For all the times I finished a homework assignment that I was dreading and wished I had someone there to tell me they were proud of me, rather than saying I should've already done my homework. I believe in making someone's day better because of all the times someone made my day better and I realized maybe I wasn’t as invisible as I thought. Because maybe if someone could notice all these small things about me, like Ms. Medina smiling at my strangely decorated crocs, Coach Craft complimenting my wooden watch, or Molly Bailey noticing when I got another ear piercing, then the thought of someone noticing all the hard work I’ve accomplished over the years, especially in high school, no longer seems so far-fetched. 

 

So I would encourage you all to tell that random person how awesome you think their shoes are. Sure, maybe that person won’t remember it at all, but you never know, maybe it’ll make a whole world of difference. 

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Emma and her father at her Great Aunt Jeanne's 80th birthday last summer. The dinner was 1950s themed, and Emma texted this picture to family members who showed up late, with the message, "You should come join the real party over here." "Although I think my text was awesome on its own," Emma says, "it was much more fun to watch my aunt show the text to my uncle as they’re both laughing then look up trying to spot us looking like the cover of Vogue in these glasses."