On the Pursuit of Happiness

“It’s not about ‘living’ your life; it’s about being able to utilize it for the greater good”

This was the mantra of my life from the moment I realized that I want to be an instrument of change in my country. I shouldn’t be selfish. It is but imperative to use my every breath to help the very people who keeps this nation going. In order to do this giving back, I decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship, so firmly that I blinded myself from all the other possibilities out in the horizon. I took on this path so fiercely that my very own idealism seized my chance at discovering what makes me happy.

And now that I am at the gates of my sworn profession, I am anything but happy. In everything I do, my heart screams that I could never belong here. For the longest time, I knew what I needed to do with my life, but only when I took the first step towards attaining this did I realize what makes the light in my heart flicker and the drums in my mind go boom. Sad to say, what I need to do and what I want to do are two different things.

For just a moment, I would like to think that I could drop everything I started here and run to where I want to go. I wish I could just let go of all these ratio strength and potency and leap to microbiology and biotechnology. Just once, I would like to think that I could free myself from the shackles I willingly wore the moment I signed up for this course. Just once, I would like to be free and happy and selfish and carefree.

Nowadays, people are defined by the college they went to and the company they work for. The privilege that was education has now become a money-making venture rather than a scholastic endeavor. The more progressive society becomes; the more money becomes the driving force of the human being. Our lives have become trained to always look for ways in which we can earn more, more, more. Gold starts to become a need, and we race to fill our lives with it until the last moment when we realize that the gaping emptiness of need we tried to fill with money has a hole at the bottom.

In achieving true happiness, money should not be seen as the end goal of endeavors and there is a need for a constant effort to narrow the gap between ourselves and the person we truly desire to be. I have always been scared that I may not be able to find true joy with the degree I am pursuing at the moment. However, from this course I have learned that ultimately, one is called to do things for the people around us and be a being for Others – this, a person I desire to be. A student does not study for himself alone, an employee does not work for himself alone and a teacher does not prepare lesson plans for himself alone. In other words, I have full control of what I do and how I can be of help to another human being in my everyday life. It is in these small decisions and actions I take upon myself with in mind of the Other that I can be happy. Furthermore, by realizing that the things we do are tied with our responsibility for the people around us, then, we can already say that indeed, genuine service can give joy not only to our hearts, but to others’ as well.

After I wake up from these thoughts, I resume the role of the good daughter who continues down the road paved for her even if it means going through hundreds of thorns; because she knows that deep down inside her she doesn’t have the slightest courage to break the hearts of her parents who unfortunately took on the burden of sending her to school, because she believes that even with the unwanted path she is taking, she still has the chance of real happiness.

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