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Hapiness Beyond The Tangible

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Why are these kids so happy? I couldn't help but ask myself this question over and over throughout my several visits to this orphanage in SE Asia. Why are they always smiling? These children, who wore mismatched shoes, slept on nothing more than a bed frame with wooden planks, and didn't have parents (or weren't able to live with their parents) were constantly emitting a glow of true, pure, and unadulterated joy.
I've gone to and returned home from this orphanage a total of four times, and upon every return am amazed at how unhappy Americans can be when they have so much. How much they take for granted their comfortable beds, three daily meals, iPods, cell phones, and free public educations.
As the generations become more and more expectant of these simple luxuries, we need to be constantly reminding ourselves that we need to be thankful. Thankful for the tangible and intangible things we have, and thankful for the opportunities we are all fortunate enough to experience.
Like they always say, you never know what you got 'till it's gone.

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