This I Believe

Natalie - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that everyone can have happiness. Everyone, at least once in their life has struggled with finding happiness. A couple of times I have found myself at a low. I was depressed. The feelings of ‘sorrow forever’ and ‘why even try’ started sprouting in my mind. I felt lost, hopeless. I didn’t feel happy. With the support of friends around me I was able to find it again. Also, I have been inspired to believe that happiness is always present from a couple people.

First is my cousin Alex. He has a family of 5 kids, him being the youngest. He lived in dismal conditions. Of his whole family (including parents), no one had graduated high school. He was onto senior year with high hopes and determination to make it through. Then his home life went down hill. With his two oldest brothers into hard drugs, one of which in jail, his other brother never around, sister moved out, and mom bringing home new guys all the time, his home life was a scary thought. Eventually things got so bad he was forced to moved out and live with our Aunt so he could stay on track with his life. I can’t imagine the dispair of having to watch you family deteriorate like that. We would talk about it, him venting, me listening. Then one day he thanked me. He thanked me for showing him what being happy is like.

I knew that Alex was surrounded by multiple happy things. He had our Aunt and Uncle, his many friends, me, his good grades and growing talent in theatre production.

I have another friend. He has lost his brother, dad, grandparents, two uncles, and three cousins. You do the math. After I heard about the most recent death I had no idea what to say to him when he came back. I tore myself up about how to approach him, should I try to cheer him up, or go along with being sad? When he came back to school he was the one who approached me. He came up to me gave me a hug, smiled and asked how my day had been. I was totally at a loss of words. How could he be so positive?

‘ I think that no matter how bad the situation we are in, there is always some glimpse of happiness surrounding us and seeking us out. From that point on, it is up to us to open our arms and let it into our mind and heart. It can be hard, but it’ll pay off in the end.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.”