The Pursuit of Happiness

with one comment

I’ve often been told that happiness isn’t about what you have. It is a state of mind, a choice. This was proved true when I went to the Philippines in 2007 and went to Youth For Christ’s (YFC) Great Adventure Tour (GAT). During this tour we visited Gawad Kalinga (English translation: to give care) sites, which are sites set up by the Couples for Christ community to build houses for the poor in the Philippines and some Pacific islands.

The GK families were so giving and generous. They had so little, but they gave us all they had. My GAT buddy Io and I were hosted by a family consisting of a Tita (Eng: Aunties) and her son (who I think, had a crush on Io) and daughter-in-law. They gave us their room and their bed so that we would be comfortable and slept on the hard concrete floor in the living room. Tita even did some of our laundry for us.

I was amazed at how happy the beneficiaries were. They took joy in all the simple things in life. We were playing skipping rope with Titas and their children. The kids were heaps happy when we got them ice-cream (although they cried if they missed out, so we ended up buying the whole ice-cream portable freezer thing). The thing that struck me was how content they were with their lives. How blessed they felt.

This is a stark contrast to the Western society I’m surrounded by. It is often a dog eat dog world, where everybody is out for themselves and never content with what they had. We are conditioned to want more. I guess partly because when we do get what we want, something better comes along. More gigs, smaller, a better colour… It’s as if we base our happiness on how much we have and having the best and latest material objects. So then happiness is unattainable?

While I think that holds true in cases, I know many people that are living testimonies that it is attainable. Like me. I will always have those memories of those 2 amazing weeks in the Philippines, the lessons that it had taught me and the change that it has made in my perspective and my attitude.

To visit GK, follow the link


Written by Candice

August 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

Posted in Think.

One Response

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  1. diggin the blog candice. simplicity is always good.. referring to both your ideas about finding happiness + the way you write..
    lol talk later.



    August 18, 2008 at 1:02 am

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