Living is Optional

Julianna - Rocklin, California
Entered on September 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Everyone dies. This may sound dismal, but it’s true. Death is mandatory. It’s a part of life, necessary for life itself to continue to have meaning. Life, however, actually living, is optional.

By living I don’t mean going through the motions because ‘it has to be done’. I don’t believe that those who go through the motions and work all day to live at subsistence level are truly living. Their lives are dictated by how much, and how hard, they work. Because of this, they rarely have free time; rarely have the chance to enjoy the life they’re working so hard for. By living, I mean taking the little bit of time each day to notice the little things that are so overlooked, yet are so necessary to a happy life.

My family has always worked hard for a living. My parents have both had full time jobs since they were my age, and most of my siblings have jobs now as well. They all use this money to pay rent, to buy food, and to take car of the vehicles so that they continue to have a way to work each day. I, however, am currently unemployed. My hope is that through my education, I can attain the skills I need to get an entertaining and yet well paying job. I want to ensure that I will be happy for all my life, not simply long enough to get to work and back each day.

When I was little, I loved the simple things in life. I loved the stars and the idea that there was so much more out there that I had yet to see. I loved making mud pies, and settling into the couch to watch a movie with my sisters. I still love these little things. Now, however, I understand that it is those little things that take one’s mind off of the stress and strife surrounding them. My hardworking parents have shown me what can happen when one ignores those little things and focuses instead on the very things that are preventing them from being happy. I do NOT want that for myself.

I believe that money, though it may make the world ‘go round’, does not mean happiness. Look at those figures in society who are known for their wealth and fame: Paris Hilton, Brad Pitt, and so on. They all have money, and yet have had problems just like every other human on earth. Money, apparently, doesn’t guarantee a happy life.

I believe that happiness is made by looking around you at the beauty of the world. I believe that smiles are contagious, if only because they allow someone to realize that happiness IS possible. I believe that everyone controls their own lives, and has the power to make of those lives what they will. Death is mandatory, but living, truly living, is optional.

This I believe.