Poverty’s Joy

Drew - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Growing up in America means that basic necessities are a given. And as with many givens in life, taking them for granted is all too easy. However, if you are not blessed with the technology of this world, then you can not take it for granted.

While in Tijuana, Mexico on a mission trip, I saw a little boy of no more than six years old, running, playing, and smiling. He will forever touch my heart. I do not understand how someone who lives in a place where sewage flows freely down the garbage laden streets can be so full of joy.

He did not even speak my language, but the impact of the lesson he taught me will last forever. He forced me to look at what I thought was important in life. I had to reassess the values I placed on my possessions. I believe that materialism does not lead to happiness.

My iPod, computer, t.v., and Playstation 3 are some of my most prized indulgences. I enjoy the features of these powerful machines, and I thought they were an integral part of my life. But now I believe they can not lead me down a path of happiness. I have never cracked as many smiles while using my gadgets as that little boy did every day. And his laughter, his infectious laughter, would never cease to put a smile on anyone’s face. It was an innocent laughter. That of a young boy growing up in a much crueler world than he could ever imagine. His happiness was pure and had no hint of fear or worry.

I believe I should not spend any of my life worrying about trite things. The little boy had no worries about the materials of this world. He did not worry about his clothes, shoes, or toys. He did not waste time worrying. He put his time into loving life through jumping, running, and hollering. He put the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on the forefront of my mind.

Since the trip, I have longed to experience the kind of happiness the little boy had. I do not think I can match his sense of joy, but I do try every day to remember how blessed I really am to live with the amenities and “stuff” I have. I will never forget that little boy and the lesson he unknowingly taught me.

I learned that someone with so little in the eyes of the world, can be blessed to have much more joy than money could ever buy .