Waking up on the right side of bed

sam - carol stream, Illinois
Entered on December 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

I believe in people having more than I do, that not having the nicest things is not the end of the world.

“I hate you!” I yelled at my mom. “I wish I wasn’t in this family!” I had gotten into another fight with my mom about me not being able to get a car. This wasn’t the first time this happened; I’ve gotten into many arguments with my parents about things I wanted to buy but didn’t have the money for. I mean it’s not like we’re poor, but I would see all these kids driving around in their cars, some nicer then others, and I would think, “I wish I had that.” I would see people wearing designer clothes and hundred dollars shoes and think to myself, “I wish my parents were super rich too.” I’d be embarrassed to say it when kids asked, “Where does your mom go shopping?” Because My mom shops at Aldi and Value City. I would think of these things and it would make me angry, angry at the world and angry towards my parents. I blamed them for not being able to have the things that others did, like cable TV or a pair of nice Jordan’s. I was miserable. It seemed that if I didn’t have all these things I could never be happy- until I met Carl, the guy from church.

I’d go to church sometimes with my parents, and one time I met a man named Carl. I’m not sure what his last name is but he is the nicest guy ever, always says hello. Carl was a big guy, he had very, very bad teeth and he would wear some pretty tattered clothes. When I first saw Carl I thought to myself, “Wow I would hate to be him.” But he was always smiling, and then my thoughts changed to, “What can he be so happy about?” He couldn’t drive, he wasn’t very good looking, and he wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box either.

I soon realized he was happy to just belong to a friendly church, happy to have nice friends who give him rides, just happy to be alive. Carl didn’t curse God for making him how he is; instead he praised God for everything that he had.

The next thing that entered my mind was, “If Carl can be so happy, why couldn’t I?” I didn’t realize how incredibly ungrateful I had become. I had been so caught up in this world we live in today, thinking that having material possessions would make you happy, that I didn’t realize what was really important. I was lucky enough not to have any horrible illnesses and there always have food to eat, even if it was from Aldi. What is really important is having great friends and family and not having to worrying about if I was going to get shot.

I believe in looking on the brighter side of life, finding happiness in the little things. I believe everyone can do this. I understand how. This can be hard sometimes but a lot people can only see the negative in life; I did, but not any more. I believe happy people are happy because they choose to be happy and that they don’t let the little things in life get them down. I’ve learned that in many cases things could actually be a lot worse then they are. This I believe.