This I Believe

Owais - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

Much in life has been confusing, depressing and obscure of late. What exactly to believe and what not to prove to be the biggest problem. Chasing satisfaction or happiness takes up most of the time in one’s life, but attaining it seems impossible. However, recently, it came to my understanding that God gives us what goods are reserved for us, the means of achievement just happen to wary. Happiness in fact arrives the moment you learn contentment. Rather than chasing woefully after materials that will never quench our appetite for more, we should seek good in all that life throws at us.

Recently, personal issues bombarded me, threatening to take over my life, challenging my own beliefs to the fullest. Initially, depression attempted to take over me, directing my thoughts to the issues and how I was incompetent. It took a while for me to realize that while I may not have achieved what I meant to, I made several good friends in the process, something deeper and more powerful than what I sought.

These times remind me of an old friend of mine. He yielded from the mountains at the Afghan border, a place known for violence and lack of infrastructure. Yet, I have not yet witnessed a person happier and more content then that wizened old Pathaan. He also happened to be relatively indigent and worked as a security guard with a makeshift house on the street. I once asked him where his real house was out of ignorance, he smiled and replied, “I own this whole street and live as I wish, that’s more than any of you can say.” I was amazed at his incredible self-contentment and will. This was beyond simplicity; he lived with no electricity at all (while we complained about 4 hour blackouts daily), no actual running water and no family. Yet, I never once saw a frown upon his face; I secretly believe he looked upon us fools chasing money and other revelries with pity.

While I may not see him ever again, his inspiration lives on, time and again helping me recover from gloom by bringing to my realization that all my woes were insignificant compared to others. Even now, when I struggle with myself, searching for clarity, I sit down and think of him, and let go of all the emotions. If we can see past our material/animal desires and find contentment in life, nothing can take away from the happiness we deserve to have.