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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
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Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers by @Toyosi_Oni
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
I believe every single person has their story; their own individual story that makes them exactly who they are. No matter how similar our experiences are, we still can not feel the exact same way as they do simply because we are not them.
This being said, I will not attempt to take you through a mile in my shoes, but I’ll tell you a story, hoping you’ll understand, hoping you’ll take a thing or three from it.
A lot of people tell me their problems, their truly heart-wrenching and thought-provoking stories and I listen. However, at times, I think, ‘honestly you do not know how good you have it’. For instance, a friend complained bitterly about how distant her father and her are, how she’s sure he hates her, how he doesn’t pay any attention to her or her siblings. I felt very bad for her, especially since the relationship my father and I had been stellar. I laughed, and reminded her that she was talking to someone who had done the final rites, the ‘dust to dust’ of her own father a little over four months ago. I told her that as long as her father was still alive there was still something to be done. Where there is life, there is hope.
Once upon a time, I used to wake up and blame the world. Say things like, ‘life is so unfair’, ‘its not supposed to be like this’ ‘why was I even born’, the list is endless. However I realised later that, I’m not the only person in the world. For one, I’m not the only young person that has lost a parent. I replied to my friend complaining about her father, that mine, whom I was extremely close to, was six feet under. But can I give that same reply to someone who lost both their parents suddenly in a road accident?
My only story is not about losing a parent young. I have many, many others. Like I’m sure many, many other people do too. If I was to write the very chilling circumstances of my father’s death, my stories, the troubles I’ve seen , the different mental, physical, psychological pains I’ve felt, what I’ve gone through in the hands of friends, family and enemies alike, why I should hate the world, I’m sure Obafuntay would have to start another series to address this.
However, I’ve learnt that our history influences greatly, who we are, who we become. Life is a race with hurdles. When we start running and we trip over a stone and sustain injuries, we think ‘oh what a stupid stone’. But that stone we tripped over prepared us to be alert for bigger stones and most importantly the hurdles on the race track of Life. Like I said, we all have stories, but these stories should not dictate to us what our life should be. They should not pull us down, depress us and make us feel like the scum of the earth when really, God has made us even brighter than the sun flower that shines brilliantly with the sun. Let us use our stories to teach lessons, create awareness, to be each others pillars. Let us treat these stories as the stone which teaches us to prepare and watch out for the hurdles life brings.
Beneath my smile, is really a smile. I smile both inwardly and outwardly for I believe in hope. I believe my stories are the ‘teacher stones’ for my life.
Beneath my smile, is really a smile, because I can easily choose to be the victim, but I choose instead…
… to be the victor.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXI ’ by An Anonymous writer
You can still send in your own true stories to email@example.com
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