A few days ago we went to go visit two families in a very poverty stricken neighborhood. These families were Rosalia’s family and Teresa’s family. Here everything was different from where we are staying, the smell, the buildings, the roads, but to me this all felt very familiar. These homes are something I had seen before, these homes were the homes that my mother and family in Honduras had grown up in, and as a young child visiting I had experienced something similar. I felt comfort and happiness in these homes while sitting there listening to their stories. With this I bring up, what is happiness, how do we define it?
To me happiness was in Rosalia and Teresa’s eyes, when we walked into their homes allowing them to share their stories. Happiness was being with their families. Felicidad was having little but actually having more than you could imagine. I felt it when I was sitting there listening and I saw it.
Comparing this to happiness in the United States is different, I’ve seen it in many people but I have also seen it in myself, the more we have the happier we will be and the happier we are, that is not necessarily true. It was humbling to see the joy that they had with so little. This made me thing about how fortunate I am, but also how ungrateful I have become. Their lives and stories have touched my soul and when I get back to the United States I will remember to be grateful for what I have. I will remember that happiness isn’t about how much materialistic things we have but happiness is about love and being grateful for the little things.
Blog post written by: Tania Silva, Graduate School of Social Work, Latino Certificate