Last summer I did community service in Costa Rica for a month. I lived in a small three room house with eighteen other people. We all slept and sheltered ourselves from the rain there, but most of our time was spent outside of the house. An average day consisted of waking up, working on a community project, and spending the rest of the day however we chose. No one went home and watched television, or talked on their cell phones, or used a computer because none of that was accessible. There were no televisions or computers in our town, and cell phones didn’t work either, but we enjoyed ourselves despite the lack of technology. Instead everyone spent their time outside enjoying the weather, and enjoying each others company. Ultimately, this unique lifestyle that exalted the simple things in life filled me with enlightening experiences. It taught me what no single book in the world ever could, and helped me to create my own unique definition of life.
The townspeople in Costa Rica were the most simple-living, friendly people I had ever met, and the town itself encompassed an undeniable positive energy. This was possibly because everyone knew each other and they spent their free time together playing soccer, meeting at the town store, or using their time wisely with those most vital to their life. Either way, this unique lifestyle which exalted the simple things in life, caught me by surprise. I was taken by my level of gratitude and happiness to be living below my standard living conditions in such an amazing environment. This led me to think, if the people in Costa Rica can live so simply and be the most joyful and liberated people I know, then why can’t we? Why must we squander our precious moments in life on trivial things instead of spending quality time with each other? Why is it that everyone knows each other in their towns, but here we don’t even know all of our neighbors on our own block? The answers never seem to come to me, but I personally have grown so much from witnessing such a remarkable lifestyle.
Ultimately, this trip taught me that it’s the simple things in life that we
tend to forget which truly make us happy, not the material things. My outlook
on life has been altered tremendously, and I now understand the difference
between the things we want in life and the things that we truly need in life. The
less time we spend indulging ourselves in useless activities, the more time we
have to spend with each other. If we took the time out to enjoy the simple
things, like spending time together or teaching each other, then I truly believe
we would be fulfilled with life and more importantly with ourselves. My entire
experience in Costa Rica revised my definition of life into something more
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