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I Learned From my Father the True Meaning of Happiness

Joined: 4/21/2011
Posts: 5
For as long as I could remember, my father had always been a figure of authority, a workaholic, someone that has absolutely zero tolerance when it comes to my inability to keep my room squeaky clean; so when I sat down next to my dad on the coach after dinner and asked him to tell me something about his life that I did not yet know, I expected a detailed retaliation of his experience as a model/straight A+ student back when he was in high school. However as he pondered the question I was surprised to see his usually stern expression fall into a rare relaxed smile as the fine wrinkles around his mouth and eyes faded slightly. Then he began, reaching back into his earliest memories of his childhood and of China.

Back when my father was only five years old his father sent him to his grandfather's house in a poor village in rural China. Having come from an industrialized city in China, my father was fascinated by abundance of wilderness and the purity of the nature of the village. As he recalled the events from the past so long ago, he told me about the river that he had once used to play in while living with his grandfather. The river had only been about two meters wide and no more than a meter deep, yet my father recalled, the water in the lake was as clear as the sky itself and in it, planktons and other species of fish and shrimp swam about their freedom. Every day during the summer my father would take a wooden spoon-stolen from his grandfather's kitchen-and along with the other boys in the village, go fish scooping as they called it in the lake. During the winter, my father would take cardboard boxes out to the lake and ice-slide on its newly frozen surface in the below zero degree temperature. And yet, as my father told me, even though the living and sanitary condition in village had been horrid, the times that he spent there during his summer and winter breaks were among the best times of his childhood.

My father’s story, though perhaps is not one of great inspiration or importance, reminded me of a basic fact of life that one tends to forget; he reminded me that happiness does not require extravagance or luxuries, nor can it be attained and bought with gold and silver. Yet it comes in the most basic and simple form of existence and only to those who seek it without greed. The lake, though unobtrusive and plain, was able to serve as the medium of the happiest memories of his childhood. As the world around us move forward with more and more advanced technology and superfluous luxuries, people tend to forget that true happiness may just be a fingertip away, waiting to be noticed in its most basic form of existence.
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