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Big Fish This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Since before we could speak, our lives have revolved around being better than whomever we are up against. Competition rules our lives. How many times have you asked, “How late did you stay up last night doing your homework? What did you get on the test? How many pairs of shoes do you have? Where did you get those jeans?” We are all fish in the sea, trying to decide where we belong. Who is the biggest fish? Which school of fish is “acceptable” to join?

The amazing part is that life is not about being the best. Being at the top only provides happiness for a short time; after that, the effort and money you put into being the best slips away. You cannot catch that time or call it back. If every one of us is trying to be the best, how can you choose a winner? Who even decides?

Money does not buy happiness, and neither does pride. Pride is the most desirable thing in the entire world. Why is it that when someone is rude to us we try to come up with something more offensive to prove we are the bigger fish? Why is it that if someone accuses us of being a quiet outcast, we must shoot their fire back at them, even if this is what defines us? Contention never was happiness, neither was pride nor wickedness. If we ignore it, our homes, and eventually the world, could be happier.

It is said that wisdom is divided into two parts: 1) Having a great deal to say and 2) Not saying it. Wisdom is controlling your feelings. It is not having to share the treasures you find in your life. It is not having to be the biggest fish in the sea, though you undoubtedly are. It is knowing that though you might have the right and privilege to have the world revolve around you, you will never receive it, and happiness does not come from it.

Wisdom is accepting what you are given, and making do with what you have, even if it means being humble. Don’t let the little things control you, but control the way you handle them. Dare to outwit competition, find happiness in the unlikeliest corner, and spend time on the people and things you love.

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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