Choosing Happiness

Tierra - El Prado, New Mexico
Entered on May 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

In This I Believe

My name is T. I am an 8th grader in Taos, New Mexico. I believe in many things but especially in doing your best and choosing happiness even if times are hard and everything seems impossible.

Two years ago in November, my family went on a life-changing trip to an amazing and exotic place called Thailand. We spent a hard twenty-eight hours sitting in a tiny and hard seat in a crowded international airplane. Finally we landed in a whole new world, Bangkok the country’s capital.

Well, lets travel back across the ocean to a small town called Taos. We will go to the Blinking Light Intersection; almost everyday you will see someone out there begging for money. You can visit any city or town in America and you will find people begging for money. I know that sometimes it is hard to find work and to always do your best when times are hard, it is even hard to smile, but if you were to try your very best you can do almost anything.

The U.S. is a first world country; Thailand is a third world country. When we first walked out of our hotel on the first day, it was a very hot and humid day in a busy city; we were only saved by some misters that sprayed a fine mist of cold water on us from a café’s porch. That day, and also for the rest of the trip we saw no one, well maybe only one person panhandling. Not only were they not begging but almost everyone we saw was doing something, even if it was selling straw hats that they made in a market, they were doing something to make their life better. Almost everyone was always smiling.

It was very interesting for me to see the comparison between the U.S. and Thailand. The U.S. is perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and has thousands of beggars. The majority of Thailand’s people live below the poverty level, but almost everyone we saw was smiling and choosing to be happy.

The fact that living in poverty does not hinder the Thai people from smiling and being happy even when things are difficult amazes me. It taught me that happiness does not come from money, it seems to me even the opposite. It really taught me that anyone can be happy if they choose to just smile and do their best no matter how hard it gets. This really helps me when I am having a hard day and everything seems impossible like a man on the moon. I just picture a Thai person smiling while they sell their baskets and try not to add any melancholy feelings to the world.

I have many beliefs, but I mainly believe in choosing happiness. What will you choose?