This I Believe

Michael - little rock, Arkansas
Entered on February 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Jonathan Swift once said, “A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” To me, this means that someone who truly puts his money into events that can be beneficial to others is someone who truly is a great man. Money can be both a blessing and a curse, it just depends on the intentions you have for it.

When I was a little kid I use to be bribed by my parents to do anything. My mom would give me a few dollars just to tell her how my day went at school; I did anything in order to feel crisp money in my hand. I didn’t spend it; just holding on to it and knowing that I had money was something that was satisfying to me. It was so satisfying, in fact, that I just wanted more and more money. It became an obsession. My attitude started to change one Christmas when I saw how happy my parents were as they spent money on my presents and how joyful they were as I opened up. As I was opening up my presents so did my eyes. There was more to life than money; life is about serving others and making others happy. Sure, money can make people happy for a little while, but the obsession to have it, and then get more and more of it, no matter the cost of getting it, is dangerous.

I had my first job the summer of my 10th grade year working at a golf course. I was getting paid every week and that money went straight into my pocket. Saving money to buy a golf club was all that I could think about, thinking that it would make me a better golfer. I saved 300 dollars and purchased the golf club. It really didn’t make me a better golfer, but I had spent 300 dollars on it. Why didn’t this make me happy? Money was at my every thought and it never seemed to be enough. Then my senior came and at school we had the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for kids at the Southern Christian Home. Giving money to that gave me a sense of happiness that I had not experienced in all my life. I had finally achieved the happiness that I had been looking for all my life.

And this I believe…happiness does not come from purchasing items for yourself, but cherishing the people around you and doing things for them. This is how to truly achieve happiness.