Less Is More This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   This February , my friend and I traveled to the Dominican Republic for the second time in two years, where we worked with a mission group to build a hospital.

My life will never be the same. I now view things in a different light. I have come to realize that we take even little things for granted, like hot showers or the running water we use to brush our teeth. Why does it take such poverty and sadness to make us realize how spoiled we really are? The people of the Dominican Republic do not know what they are missing so they do not crave the unnecessary materialistic objects we find difficult to live without. Instead they compensate those materialistic things with love.

These people have an amazing dependency on each other. The love and trust they have for one another is awesome. In the United States we do not appreciate each other as they do. They appreciate everything they own, which is not a lot.

People from the Dominican Republic put all their faith in God; it is all they can truly count on. We tend to get so wrapped up in our complex lives that we tend to step over others to help ourselves, yet those who have nothing look to help others. Little things like gum, candy and crayons put a bright glow on their faces. These people have so much more than we do in this respect. They have their priorities straight in order to survive. They work hard and get paid next to nothing; most have poor health conditions, yet they seek wealth and health in one another.

I'm not telling you to travel to a poverty-stricken country or to deprive yourself of modern-day conveniences, but try offering a helping hand to those in need. Whether it is an elderly neighbor who needs a driveway shoveled, a younger sibling who needs help with homework or helping your family clear the table after dinner, try doing something for someone else. I can promise you that the more you give, the more you will have.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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