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The Secret of Happiness: Philanthropy

Joined: 5/31/2016
Posts: 1
The Secret of Happiness: Philanthropy

What is Happiness? If you look up the word 'happiness' in a dictionary, you will see that it refers to a state of pleasure. But if you ask different people what happiness means to them, you will probably get antithetical answers. For a farmer, happiness is having a good monsoon and harvesting season. For parents, happiness is seeing their child's triumph. But for me, happiness is something else entirely. For me, happiness is philanthropy.

As a teenager who has lived a majority of her life in India, I have, until now, seen the world through a pessimistic gaze. The underdeveloped roads, a deficiency of traffic sense, the cacophony on the news and the atmosphere of poverty had certainly made a dent on me.

When I heard about Teach For India, a non-profit organization that strives to provide an education to every single child in this country, something inside of me snapped. I don't know what it was but it made me want to make a change. I realized that there is absolutely no point in criticizing the country. If I wanted to make India a better place then I would have to work for it. The determination to change my surroundings for the better occupies a great place in my heart. And that determination is what made me enroll with Teach For India as an intern. And looking back now, I can definitely say that I made the right decision.

Working with children who have the determination to get an excellent education but lack the means to do so has completely changed my thinking. I have begun to see light in even the darkest of places and my previous pessimistic gaze has turned into an optimistic one. While teaching a class full of sanguine and energy filled students, a change in me was ineludible. Seeing the exhilaration on the faces of the children when they understand what is being taught, seeing the euphoria on their faces while they play a game of cricket irrefutably brings a smile to my face. The opportunity to work for my country creates a certain contentment in me that can never be created by something else.

But one thing that completely astounded me was the metamorphosis philanthropy brought on me. A couple of days ago, as I was driving down the streets of Mumbai, I passed something that made me perceive the change in me. I passed Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world. Had I had seen this ghetto three months ago, I wouldn't hesitate to condemn the state of my country. But this time, not a single word left my mouth. There was just a surge of determination pulsing through my veins. The determination to make Dharavi a better place. And that's when I knew the significance of philanthropy to me. That is exactly when I knew the the secret of my happiness is philanthropy.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Secret of Happiness essay being chosen as our 3rd place essay for the April / May 2016 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment!

We want to apologize for our long delay in getting the results as we are in the process of a evolution. This is our final writing contest, and we wanted to be certain that we chose the best essays for the last hoorah of our writing contest project.

We hope to post and update the winner's page with all the back dated essay winners by the end of October (again we apologize for the delay):

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2016 7:43:12 PM
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Comment by christineglenn

Joined: 7/31/2017
Posts: 1
That's a great inspirational post! Currently, I'm in India as well and researching philanthropy. I guess this information will help me with my research paper and adds the layer of authenticity to it.
Posted: Monday, July 31, 2017 3:33:18 PM
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Comment by MatthewsGeorge

Joined: 8/31/2018
Posts: 1
I think we have to be thankful. We've already have a lot but some one don't have anything. My friend worried about his assignment because he even don't know how much is 500 words essay. But today there are so many services and people who can and want help you.
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 11:47:01 AM
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