This I Believe

Courtney - Brooks, California
Entered on December 21, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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The Fortune of Happiness

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet” –James Oppenheim. I believe in the ability to achieve true happiness. My belief in true happiness began on one of my families trips to Mexico. It was not an ordinary vacation of just sitting on the beach and tanning all day. We stayed in a hotel in Puerto Vallarta and planned to take a road trip to this little town named Tulum where a friend of my family grew up and his family currently lives.

We walked outside our hotel and at the gate; we saw his brother and uncle waiting there to take us to their hometown. It was the longest four hours of my life. We drove through desert and more desert. We also drove through some small little towns with stray, scrawny dogs running around. It was one of the sadiest things I’ve seen.

When we arrived in Tulum, we got a tour of the schools, stores, churches, and other places in the town. Most of the houses were run down and had no windows. The children walked the town with no shoes on their feet and the people had not a care in the world. Everyone just seemed so happy with the lives they were dealt. You didn’t hear the hectic conversation that you would hear in the United States. It was peaceful and the people held a smile on their faces. Furthermore, they had no want for change for a “better” life. I was in amazement when I saw this.

For such a poor town it was beautiful in its own fortune. These people are full of life yet have nothing materialistic about them. They work hard to support there family and the minimum they earn is plenty good enough for them. They live for tomorrow, for their families, and for happiness.

I believe true happiness exists in all our lives although it may be deeply buried within our busy daily events. I have learned from the people in Tulum that it is important to embrace in my happiness. Since that summer, I have had a different outlook on life and I have become a truly better person. I have discovered the true source of happiness: family, friends, and living life to its fullest. Knowing where I will always be able to find it, I will continue to believe in true happiness.