This I Believe : Hana Villafana


I believe we should always find a reason to smile and if we can’t, then we should be the reason to smile. Look at the world and what do you see? On one side I see a world full of self-absorbed men and women in constant competition over who has more money, more power and less body fat, but then I turn around and see men, women and children fighting to survive; no school, no work, nowhere to sleep, no food, no hope. It’s difficult to take a glance at our world, at my life and find a reason to smile. My whole life I felt controlled by my environment, whether it was the country I lived in, my family’s financial situation, the school I attended, or the people who crowded my life. I lived in if land. If I was skinnier I’d be happy. If my coworkers agreed with me I’d be happy. If my brothers’ health problems went away I’d be happy. If I had more money I’d be happy. If my husband spent more time with me I’d be happy. Recently I hit a rough patch in my marriage and I lost my biggest reason to smile. It finally hit me how dependent I was on other people to make me happy. People are always changing, so is the world and what makes us happy is also constantly changing. Once we find what we thought would make us happy, we realize that isn’t actually what we were looking for or there’s something more we desire. The search for happiness is never ending and that is why I don’t need to find happiness, I need to be happy, and be happy right now. Don’t look at life as a whole but look at all the details of life. We constantly look for how we can better our lives but I’d rather look at what is good right now, no matter how small it may be: I didn’t have to wait for the elevator this morning, I found the perfect dress in the first store I went to in less than 30 minutes, or someone gave me mochi ice cream just because today. But sometimes these small things to be grateful for don’t suffice to give me hope and that is when I look for a reason to believe in better things by changing myself. Instead of waiting for the world to give me a reason to smile, I’m going be the person I wish other people were. If far from perfect me can change for the better, than why can’t the rest of the world? This gives me a reason to hope, a reason to smile and no one can take this away from me. I’m not lost looking for happiness but I am happy and I give those around me a reason to smile, and that makes me the happiest of all.