Approximately five years ago, I went to Bangladesh, a small country bordering the eastern side of India. It was an interesting experience to see what the people of Bangladesh had to deal with compared to what I had to deal with living in California.
What worked out nicely for me was that my family and I had a place to stay due to my parents being born in Bangladesh. Another plus was my ability to eat the food with its variety of spices due to my mother making the same foods at home.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
One aspect that did not work for me at all was the mosquito/bug bites always causing rashes and pain. I was complaining about myself but then thought of the people that live in this country. WhatI learned on my trip was not through what I was taught, but what I had seen. Poor, scrawny people everywhere, not having a home or a family. People running up to you asking for money with their beady eyes, how could someone say no? Left, right, close-by or far away, you will find at least one person in need. Luckily my family was benefitting, but still not living in luxury. Seeing how much these people did not have made me realize how much I did. Still, we have 5-year-olds running around in America with their iPhones saying they don’t have enough. Still, we have teens saying they want the next best thing. Still, we have adults ranting that their job isn’t giving them as much as they want, although they are still thriving.
The people of Bangladesh are not complaining. They survive on scraps, and still you see them smiling. Their house is straw and you see them feeling special. What made me ponder was why these poor people were happier than us Americans?What I wanted to know was that if materialistic objects did not bring happiness, what did bring out this emotion. Happiness, I learned, was not something tangible, but something that was partially a belief, an inner feeling. And the one way to truly have this happiness is by feeling fortunate. Now many people feel fortunate once they are given a present, showing a sign of gratitude. When they are not given something, no emotion is shown, but the true feeling we should be feeling I happiness, a feeling that should last forever. The reason the poor people of Bangladesh are happy are because they are happy for being alive, still having a breath of life keeping them going. These scraps of food found are not insufficient, but a blessing. These straw houses made are not weak, but steel with hope. This trip to Bangladesh not only made me feel that I had to help them, but allowed me to decide a career for myself as well.
Although the people of Bangladesh were happy, that could not fight physical infections such as starvation, or malaria. I hope to become a profession that is specified in medicine, curing illnesses and diseases. Along with curing ailments, I want to also help those who need jobs and are in need of food. In my opinion, the people in life who should not be suffering are those who are happy and grateful, more than those who are greedy and always unsatisfied. After my month of watching the people of Bangladesh endure and survive, I was taught an important lesson that I will always think about. That I am very fortunate for every breath of life I breathe each day, and that I have no excuse for not being happy.
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