I Believe in Happiness

Author: Anonymous, TCU Student, Fall 2014

I believe in happiness. I believe that there are so many different ways to be happy. Throughout my life so far there have been significant influences that have made me think this. The three biggest influences are the movie Happy, travel, and my experiences with my family.

I first saw Happy two years ago. This is a documentary focused on looking at people across the world and what makes them happy. As well as looking at how love comes more naturally to humans than war and hate. It was originally extra credit for one of my classes that I was taking at the time. This movie examines how love and compassion come more naturally to people than hate does. It looks at what people in different countries and cultures think make a person happy; as well as, looking at their overall happiness levels. Throughout this movie they look at cultures all around the world, while everyone has their own idea of what will make them happy. This had a significant impact on me because before seeing this movie I always though that violence was a more powerful driving force in the world. However, after Happy I started looking at the world and how I thought about things differently.

The next greatest influence for me was having the opportunity to travel and live in different areas of the world. It is quite evident in other cultures that, while they do not have the resources that we have, they appreciate what they have. The biggest difference that I see between Western culture and many Eastern cultures is that Western cultures puts a greater emphasis on things where as with many Eastern cultures they may live in shack with a few possession but feel like they are very rich because they have family and friends to spend time with. Likewise, it is interesting that in our culture we expect people to be happy all the time. For me seeing how other people in many different cultures have found happiness has helped me develop and learn what makes me happy.

Lastly, I have seen my sister find happiness depression. This is probably the greatest driving force that has shaped my view and understanding of happiness. My sister is younger but for the past few years I have gone through the battle of depression with her and watched her become healthy again and seen her make her own happiness even on her worst days.

These aspects have shaped how I view happiness and how I think about it. While I believe being happy and finding happiness is important I also realize that being happy all the time is impractical.  I believe that being happy is important because if someone cannot find things in their life that makes them happy and enjoy life then that makes life more difficult, as I have experienced with my sister. For me what is important is finding what makes you happy no matter what our resources or life circumstance is.

 

I believe in my Uncle Tommy

Author: Katie Rhatigan, TCU Student, Nursing major, Published fall 2012

I believe in my Uncle Tommy. Last year he was diagnosed with cancer and currently he is in remission, still living his life to the absolute fullest.

My uncle is the wild child of his family. He had the long hair, tattoos, and earrings, is extremely tall, and has the sense of humor that would have you laughing within a minute of meeting him. He has the built of a lion and the heart of an angel. He is a carpenter and has a passion for building anything he can. This man is so much more than just my uncle and role model, he is also my godfather.

Growing up, I was not fortunate to see him often because he was engulfed with his work and lived a couple hours away. That never impacted our relationship though. I would talk to him on the phone and his positive attitude would always leave me feeling happy and optimistic. Whenever I did see him, I would receive the biggest hug of my life and I would never want to leave. His stories from his childhood were always the greatest, like when he would tell me about his car and how it was the coolest one on the block because it had a huge engine and the ladies loved his GTO. I used to listen to stories about him driving it and I could see him reliving his experiences. He is satisfied with life and lives each day to the fullest.

After he was diagnosed with cancer, it was like nothing had changed. Work was still part of his everyday life and he carried on as usual. He had the overwhelming love and moral support from his family to help him get through it all. I am not going to say that there were no hard or low points during his treatment process but I will say that he rarely showed them. Through this whole experience, he has been able to reconnect with the family more and even some friends from his past. My uncle can do whatever he sets his mind to do. When he first started Kung Fu, he did not stop until he got his black belt and when he decided he wanted to learn the guitar, he mastered it. This determination is what allowed him to beat the cancer. Ultimately, he stuck to his daily routine, kept a smile on his face, and kept doing the things that he loved.

Through my Uncle Tommy, I have learned to be unselfish and cherish each moment I have because at any time, my life can change. When I am having a bad day, I think about him and how even through it all, he still will walk around making other people happy. He inspires me to live each day like it’s my last, to do what I want to do, to do what makes me happy.
There will be challenges in life but nothing that I cannot get through. I believe that through perseverance, love, and hope, I can do anything with a smile on my face.

I believe in Smiling

Author: Jimena Reyes, TCU Student, Strategic Communications Major, Published Fall 2012

I believe in smiling.

Have you ever had a stranger smile at you when your day was not going well? And without realizing it, you smiled back? It has happened to me, which is why I smile as often as I can, even to strangers.

Smiles help us communicate non-verbally; for example, we usually smile when we like something, or when we are happy, or when we are excited, or when we see a familiar face. We sometimes don’t even notice we are doing it. It’s an unconscious reflex.

Smiles are contagious – and this is why I love smiling at people, even if I’m sad or mad. I do it hoping I will get a smile back. I have experienced how powerful smiling can be from both perspectives.

When I was in middle school, my parents decided to change my school. In this new place, I had no friends and I was to shy to talk to strangers. It was easier for me to stay in my “safe bubble”.

On my third day I was eating on a bench when a girl who was two years older smiled at me for no reason. I just couldn’t understand; people from higher grades just don’t go around smiling at the young ones. Her smile made that day better than the rest. If it weren’t for her, I would have never gotten the courage to go talk to the girl on the bench next to mine, who would become my best friend.

Smiles are powerful, and I believe in them. Give others your best smile. You never know whose life you might change.