I believe in the little things. I believe in hot chocolate, goldfish and half-melted Hershey’s kisses. I believe in fluffy down comforters and fire-places on cold winter nights; with Frisbees and coolers on summer afternoons. I believe that something as small as a wave, a smile or a hug can brighten a bad day. I believe that it can be as simple as green grass and clear sky and good friends. I believe that lullabies and Eskimo kisses are the only way to fall asleep and that bird songs and sunshine are the only way to wake up every morning. I believe that who ever said that you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies and that visiting an animal shelter can work wonders for your mood. I believe in playing outside while it’s raining, but only when the rain is warm. I believe that thunder is a perfect lullaby. I believe in getting excited when you see flower buds coming out of the ground. I believe in sleep; lots and lots of sleep. I also believe in dreams. They help you figure out what your mind is trying to tell you. I believe in picnics and cheesy jokes and laughing so hard that milk comes out your nose. I believe that if you can you should do whatever makes you happy, whenever it makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
Most of all I believe that happiness doesn’t have to be complicated or unattainable. Our lives are focused around the idea that to be happy we need lots of stuff and lots of friends. While I am not bashing material goods (I love shopping as much as the next girl), I am stating that I believe that happiness, for me, is much simpler than hundreds of pairs of shoes or a big house and a nice car. For some people, that may be what makes them happy, and that’s ok. But this is what I believe. I believe that clearing away the complications and the junk and the drama from my life makes me happier than a new iPod ever could. Even something as simple as cleaning my room out, giving my old clothes away or rearranging my furniture can clear my mind and relax me. Watching TV has always made me slightly angry. While I enjoy the programs that I can watch, it’s the commercials that drive me crazy. They are loud, obnoxious, flashy and blatantly insult my intelligence every time they come on. They assume that every single person watching is a weak-minded, gullible, typical consumer that will buy anything with a good enough sales pitch. I turn them off. I’m tired of being spoon-fed the idea that I need things to make me happy. I’m tired of being judged because I don’t buy into someone else’s idea of what it means to be happy. I can make my own happiness, and the things that make me happy don’t need commercials. You can’t buy sunshine at Wal-mart. You don’t see infomercials for best friends. And you certainly can’t find pre-packaged, artificially flavored, dime-a-dozen Eskimo kisses on a shelf beside the Easter candy.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.