This I Believe

Ragini - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 10, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Happiness Is All That Really Matters

“Live today to the fullest, because you never know if tomorrow will come.”

This quote shows, in one sentence, my complete view of life. Every day, I try to do things because I want to, not because I have to. Why waste life on stuff you don’t like? I believe in happiness, no matter how that happiness is achieved.

After hearing numerous stories about individuals dying in freak accidents, I began to wonder – did they live their lives with the attitude “Oh, I’ll do these things that I hate for just one more day. After all, there’s always tomorrow.” And then, the next day, an accident happens, and bam – tomorrow’s gone. Tomorrow isn’t always there, as is so often believed.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to me tomorrow. I could die tomorrow. I could die tonight. I could die in a few minutes. If I looked back on life, would I wish I had lived more? Ignored what my Calculus teacher told me about derivatives and integrals and instead just taken a nap under the sun? Read all the books I’ve wanted to read, written all the novels I’ve wanted to write, talk to all the people I’ve been dying to talk to but was too scared?

But then again, this is my definition of life. Someone else’s definition of “living life to the fullest” could very well be doing those same Calculus problems I shun. Each person has their own sunlit corner of happiness – I believe we should all try and find it.

My true belief in happiness has helped me stay calm in many a stressful situation. Before taking the PSAT, my friends exclaimed to me, “Why are you so calm?! This determines your whole college career! You have to get a good score! Don’t you want scholarships?!”

To this, I serenely smiled and replied, “Of course, it’d be nice to get a high score and receive scholarships. But it wouldn’t determine my whole life. If I don’t get anything at all, it doesn’t matter to me. Why? Because that’s not what’s important to me in life. The old adage of what you want people to say about you at your funeral can be used here. At my funeral, I want to be remembered as a funny, kind person – someone people love to be around. Does it really matter then if I was smart or not? If I received large scholarships or not? Step back for a moment and take a look at the big picture. This is what really matters to me in life.”

And this I believe – the pursuit of happiness, no matter how I achieve it. Whether it be through reading a great novel, taking a nap on the lawn outside school, or laughing about absolutely nothing, happiness is what I truly believe matters most in the end.