This I Believe

Sarah - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Love is The True Key to Happiness

I believe that ones happiness is not determined by how much money one has. Sure one could buy everything their heart desires, but will they be content with what they bought or will they want more? I believe that pure happiness and love is what will utterly determine how happy a person is. About a year ago a singer Tim Davis visited my church and shared an experience he had with a guy on the plane. The man was rich and started telling Tim that no matter how much materials and property he had, he still could not fill the emptiness inside of him. He couldn’t buy his happiness.

I believe that the key to happiness is love. I grew up in a family that had to base their strength and happiness on nothing but love. There are 7 people in my family and money has been an ongoing struggle. Unfortunately, my father has lost his job in various companies he has worked for due to downsizing. In fact, just this past summer, American Express bought over the company my father worked for and as a result, they let him go. He started his own business but paychecks have been unsteady ever since and now we are basically living off of my mothers teaching income. If you can only imagine what financial struggles we have had. There are weeks that all we can eat is spaghetti or leftovers from my grandparents because we have no money that week. The feeling is so terrifying knowing that if that check doesn’t come when it is supposed to you have the fear that you might lose the house, the electric might not be on for awhile, the phone line is cut off, or the feeling knowing that your parents are terrified to answer the phone because there is a possibility of it being a bill collector.

In the society that we live in today, money and materials are looked upon as the key to happiness. The day my father came to me for help, was the day I realized how important money really was to survive. He needed me to pay for the electric bill this month. The expression of shame on his face made me realize my parents have sacrificed everything, to give us what we need. I realized I didn’t need the money I saved up for my laptop but rather my family needed the money to survive. But yet, I wouldn’t trade my family’s situation for all the money in the world. Having less money has made me appreciate what I have and it has taught me to not take anything for granted. I learned how to love with my whole heart and to be truly happy with what I have. My parents never showed that we were struggling to survive; they showed us love and showed us that there is more to life than having money.