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This I Believe: Happiness Is a Choice Essay

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Updated: Jan 2nd, 2022

I believe that everybody can be happy. I do not mean that I blame people who are unhappy for their unhappiness. However, I do blame myself if I am unhappy. I know that I can choose to be happy. Not everybody knows this. You have to know that you control how you feel and how you react to everything around you to be in control. It is like the rules about sin in the Catholic Church. To sin, you have to know that what you do is a sin. You have to do it willingly and it has to actually be a sin. So, kicking dirt on the sidewalk will never actually be a sin.

But happiness is even more under your control because it is you that decides what makes you happy. What makes you happy is the first thing you have to find out. If you do not know what will make you happy then you can never have it. It is a value system and you decide what is valuable. Now it would be silly or stupid to pick something that you can never have or never do or never be to make you happy. Maybe that would mean that you like being unhappy. There are people like that.

Now another important thing is how you take things that happen. I was told as a young child to control how I express my emotions, especially anger. I was taught that I should positively express my anger. I was never much good at that. But nobody told me that I could choose how to feel. I do not mean that I never get angry or never get sad. I just do not stay that way. I make sure that I look at it and decide it is not worth being sad or angry about. It was one thing that happened that changed me, and I will never forget it.

I had a really good friend who had a really nice mp3 player. I could not afford one. I was much younger then and MP3 players were very expensive. My friend left it at my house and I did not call and tell him he left it. In fact, when he asked I lied and said I had not seen it. The next week he had another one, but not as nice to replace it. I wanted to tell him he left his at my house, but I just couldn’t. I would listen to it at night and never say anything about it. I was ashamed and worried that he would know I took it. I started to avoid him because I felt so guilty. Finally, after school one day, I ran up and I gave it back and told him what I did. He said I could have it. I said no I could not take it. Then he said that I must have wanted it very very much to have done that, and it never made him that happy, so I should have it.

I asked him why he was not even angry, and I learned from him that people, especially friends and family really do not want to hurt each other. They are just reacting to their own pain or need. He said he talked to his Dad, who is a counselor, and he said that I felt bad, because I did not have enough money to buy the MP3 player. If I felt so bad that I would take it and hurt my friend, then I must feel really bad. So he said he could not be hurt when I never intended to hurt him. The player really was not important to him, and he really was glad when I tried to give it back because we could still be friends.

After that, we talked a lot and we figured out that we can choose to be happy instead of hurt or mad. We both decided to be happy for the rest of our lives. We are still friends and I still have the MP3 player to remind me that I can always choose to be happy.

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