Perhaps happiness is the most essential human experience. It defines our interests, interactions, and intrinsic views on life. For some, happiness arrives effortlessly, while others struggle to identify with what connects them to this feeling. Happiness may also be one of the most subjective human experiences. A surfer and someone with aquaphobia-or fear of water- both connect to water. The surfer correlates the ocean to the enjoyment of surfing, while the aquaphobic’s experience would be quite the contrary. What makes one person happy may differ entirely from another. Our levels of happiness are both essential and subjective, therefore it is imperative to understand the importance of respecting each other’s passions.
A common fixation of the high school experience is discovering what makes one feel true happiness. Expectations fall short, and often people graduate still pining for a sense of self-identity. The Friends Academy community provides many opportunities for students to explore a variety of interests. However, we can easily fall into a mindset of becoming accustomed to having opportunity handed to us. So when we emerge empty-handed, it can be difficult to know how to help yourself when others have guided you for so long. Therefore, to seek true happiness, we must learn how to create our own.
The coolest people I know are those fearless to judgement. Everyone holds the potential to express themselves, yet many stay in the shadows to avoid criticism. As much as we desire to find happiness, the need to belong overrides it. A crossroad emerges, to choose the worn path of belongingness, or to forge our own in hopes that others will follow, or at the very least find it beautiful. In other words:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, lines 18-20)