This I Believe

Haley - Hixson, Tennessee
Entered on April 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that happiness is a choice. I had an amazing teacher in high school, who in all of the years that I have known her, has never been outwardly dejected, rude, or unhappy. Even when faced with undesirable tasks, lazy students, and incompetent colleagues, she always greeted each possibly dismal situation with a smile on her face and the conviction that something good could come out of everything. Intrigued by her ability, my classmates and I asked her what kept her so chipper all the time, and she simply stated, “happiness is a choice.” Not something that simply happens or doesn’t happen, but a conscious choice to be made everyday. After this conversation, I consciously tried to make the decision to be happy everyday, and to tell the truth, I found it quite exhausting. But having practiced the two possible ways to react to a troubling incident, either getting upset or choosing to be happy, I found that each problem, when shown a smiling face, seemed to work itself out. I came to realize how much easier my trials and “bad days” were faced when I decided too that happiness was a choice. Not an easy choice because though being happy is a state perpetually sought after by many, it is also a state that takes patience and practice to perfect. To be able to smile instead of getting angry at that glass of spilled milk and realizing that it is only a glass of spilled milk is a feat sadly unachieved by many. So the next time someone cuts in front of you in traffic don’t throw a rude gesture to the other driver, simply thank God that no one was hurt. And instead of complaining about a project due either at work or school, take advantage of the opportunity to share with others your thoughts and ideas. Choose to take the words of my wise teacher to heart and live in contentment and peace. Choose to be happy, because after all, it will be the most important choice you will make each day!