What is it that you want in life? Success? Fame? Wealth? Happiness?
My own answer is happiness. The one thing I truly wanted in my life – which I thought would bring my happiness – I am unable to have. Therefore I had a decision to make: wallow in sorrow or find other ways to be happy. Life typically doesn’t deal us the cards we would choose for ourselves. So the question becomes: with the cards I have, can I still be happy?
I recently watched a documentary entitled Happy. It features individuals from around the world – people that you might not expect to be happy: those living in poverty with little food and few possessions, a woman whose life changed drastically when she was run over by a truck and required 26 reconstructive surgeries.
You would think that our circumstances would determine our happiness. And yet, every day, individuals prove that theory false. Despite difficult circumstances, we can choose to be happy. Despite tragic and disheartening life events – after a period of natural grief and sorrow – we can return to happiness. I think of my father, immobile for the last six years of his life. Despite his situation, he chose happiness.
One of the students I work with every day is undeniably, overtly happy. It is difficult not to smile when you’re around her. I would imagine that this will persist as she goes through life. Will she face sad, devastating or tragic circumstances in her life? Likely. Will she choose happiness? I am just as certain the answer will be yes.