The Central Trend

Perspective: The Key to Happiness

Breezy Wetherbee, Staff Writer

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In life, perspective is everything.  Joy and happiness are what everyone should strive to have, yet depending on one’s situation, joy and happiness can mean different things for different people.  I believe it is important to experience a plethora of things in order to gain a more broad perspective of this world.  

I have been able to gain a new viewpoint while working at Beacon Hill.  Beacon Hill is an independent living facility for upper-class, elderly citizens, located in East Grand Rapids.  While working there, I quickly discovered a new dimension to life.  The things which so many of us idly waste our time on, myself included, aren’t going to better us.  Having the newest iPhone or wearing the newest trends is not ultimately going to satisfy us.  Of course, having those things will, for a short while, make us feel happier.  Yet, when the iPhone 7 comes out, the iPhone 6s will be outdated.  Some of the major fashion trends of 2016 most likely won’t be big in 2017.  

Our generation has smudged the lens so many people wear.  We, as Americans, live in the most privileged country in the world.  And yet, our society seems to be one of the most discontent.  We are beyond wealthy compared to other parts of the universe: we have our health, beautiful homes, and expensive cars just to name a few.  We do not have to worry about where our next meal will come from.  We do not need to worry about leaving our homes and questioning if we will get to school/work safely. We live in an image driven society. We live in a place where we are showered with wealth.  

Working at Beacon Hill has made me re-prioritize my goals.  Getting into the best college and getting my dream job are all worthy ambitions.  However, if along the way I lose who I am, was it really worth it? I believe it is important to have goals, but constantly striving for something I don’t have is not.  Let your dreams be your motivating factor, not the number of zeroes you will find on your future paycheck.  

Most of the residents at Beacon Hill lived through the Great Depression era.  Therefore, they have a very different perspective on things.  Never would they let a bite of steak go uneaten, never would they leave the fruit garnish on their plates.  They understand what it is like to not have those things; therefore, they are so much more appreciative of them.  This generation quickly overlooks things like that.  It is rather common for us to leave some food on our plate and allow it to be thrown away.  We wouldn’t think twice. Imagine not having an abundance of food. Perhaps then we would be more careful with how we eat it.  

If you can find something you’re good at and like at the same time, it will not feel like a daily monotonous task.  It will, rather, be a source of pleasure and provide contentment.  If you do what you love, your quality of life will be so much greater.  And by quality of life I don’t mean your standard of living, but rather the joy and happiness that will accompany you wherever your dreams lead. Simply put, if you appreciate your life, happiness will follow.

Appreciation is one of the things that simply cannot be bought. Appreciation is a skill that is learned and perfected over time. It is a vital key to contentment.  We have countless things to be appreciative for.  May you not take for granted the marvels of this world.

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Perspective: The Key to Happiness