I believe that life is more than having the best. Society has taught us that you need good grades to get into a good college to get a good job to make a lot of money and live the “good life.” What is the “good life?”
The worst invention, in my opinion, is the invention of money, because, now, it is what governs society and what governs man. It corrupts many and causes more problems than it solves, and yet the “good life” is one that is filled with huge checks, fancy cars, mansions, etc.
A truly happy life doesn’t revolve around how big one’s monthly check is. People are what’s important. Friendships are important; family is important. Life is about sincere connections with everyone. One can be truly happy because of the people they meet and the help they gave, even though they got nothing in return.
On a mission trip one summer, I went with my church youth group to an orphanage in Mexico. There I met some of the cutest and happiest children I have ever seen. They would burst into smiles if you began chasing them across the basketball court because they were traveling during a game. I look back on that week and smile, because those kids were so happy to have us there even though we didn’t do much more than play with them. That experience at the orphanage showed me that money is not necessary to be happy. Those kids had very little money, yet they were sincerely happy.
After Katrina, most people had nothing. We went down (my church youth group) to help with relief. It was amazing the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina, but the most important thing we did was listen. We befriended the people there, heard their stories, and fixed their roofs. The relationships we made were just as important, maybe even more important, than the manual labor we did.
The relationships we make with people enable us to be human. Money can only get you so far. Sure money can buy you things, and it may help you in a materialistic sense, but what truly saves us from insanity in modern-day society is the people we meet during life: the friends and family that will always be there.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.