This I Believe

emily - owosso, Michigan
Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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What Is Important to You?

I believe that there is one lesson that is more important than any other lesson ever to be learned. And I believe if this lesson is learned, then ones life will forever be changed and one will have by far the most positive, and fulfilling life imaginable. I believe that money cannot buy happiness.

Too many times people get caught up in their everyday lives, forgetting what is really important to them. I believe that peoples’ souls are being suffocated by the everyday weight we carry of society’s expectations on each other and ourselves. Have you ever asked yourself are you truly happy? And if the answer is no, then why is that? Do you feel like your ashamed of your weight, or your face? Or maybe you feel like your car or house isn’t as nice as it could be. Or maybe you wish you could make more money. How do these things make you feel? Stressed, embarrassed, mad? Of course they do! But why? Who are you competing with or trying to impress? And who says that you need these things? The answer is you. You call the shots, and you choose how you respond.

I want you to picture your favorite memory, or maybe you have more than one. Who is there? Your family, your children, a best friend, or a lover? What is happening? It could be the birth of your first child, your wedding day, a first kiss, or a trip to the beach. It is true that money is most likely involved with each of these scenarios, but did money pay for the gorgeous sunset that floods the sky with waves of orange, red, and purple, embraced by pink, cotton clouds? Have you ever taken the time to appreciate a sunset? Do you remember the time you laughed so hard that you cried? And everyone was laughing too, and you think about it sometimes and laugh again. How much did that cost? How much would you trade that memory for? And when you are dying, would you rather share your last words with a BMW, or the sweetest faces of friends and family who made life worth living?

I realized this concept when I was sixteen. It was the day I moved from one hundred miles from Coldwater, MI to Owosso, MI. I had to leave everything I knew behind, including our lake house that was on the golf course, and all of my very best friends and my boyfriend of years. Guess what I miss the most, the house or my dearest friends? To this day, they are still some of my dearest friends.

If my belief has made you think a little deeper than usual, I have accomplished my goal. To be truly wealthy is to be rich in love. Cherish and reflect on all of your priceless memories, and remember them next the next time you are feeling stress, embarrassed, or mad.