What Makes You Happy? | Teen Ink

What Makes You Happy?

July 8, 2021
By HelenLu SILVER, Lititz, Pennsylvania
HelenLu SILVER, Lititz, Pennsylvania
8 articles 8 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You will die but the words you speak or spoke, will live forever.” — Auliq Ice


After we read The Giving Tree one night, my brother asked me in baby’s voice, “What makes you happy?”
 
“What makes you happy?” I asked him.
 
“A new Hot Wheels, lots of candies, hum, and reading picture books with you. So, what makes you happy?”
 
What makes me happy?
 
I don’t quite know.
 
If I’m little, as little as my brother, I would answer like him, but I’m no longer little. Now, I want much more, more that I consider meaningful. I want perfect grades to prove my hard work. I want gold medals to show my talents. I want …
 
I struggle to make myself matter, being remembered and successful, but am I now happy? I’m probably diligent or gifted, but not necessarily happy. Although I manage to get A+ in every class, this seems already numb to me. I have fulfilled some wishes, but at the same time, something seems lost. Probably myself, my pure self who used to count a single candy or a toy as happiness.
 
In 8 Picture Books That Celebrate the Joys of Life, Jennifer Krauss helps me redefine happiness. As the boy realizes in The Smile Shop, “It’s his humanity that imbues the world with color,” it’s my unique appearance, my inherent weaknesses, my childish desires, and my colorful personality that matter. No matter in what sense, to be myself is what matters as the greatest happiness of life.
 
So, I closed the book, smiled, and answered, “A new Hot Wheels, lots of candies, and reading picture books with you make me happy, too.”


The author's comments:

So, what makes you happy?


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