To My Future Son/Daughter,
As I’m writing this to you, I am 29 years old. If you had asked me when I was 6 years old to tell you what happiness is, I would have probably told you that it was a nice, light feeling – it’s how you feel when you’re having fun, playing and laughing.
When I was 9 years old, I thought happiness was being “sick” so I could spend the day reading at home, and not being bullied at school. By the time I was 15, I would have probably told you that happiness is seeing that cute boy that you like. When I reached 22, I would have probably told you that happiness was partying with your friends, and being with someone you were truly, deeply in love with.
It makes me wonder how I would explain what happiness is by the time I’m really old. But for now, I can only tell you of the things I’ve learned about happiness so far.
I’ve learned that how you find happiness will always change, and that you have to enjoy it while it’s there. The things that make you happy now won’t necessarily be the same 10 years from now. When I was in my early 20s, I used to think that it made me happy to go shopping. Now, I’m trying to get rid of all this stuff I’ve accumulated over the past few years and it’s kind of depressing. I guess that’s another thing I learned – no amount of material possessions could make you truly happy.
I have also learned that while other people can make you happy, you should never rely on them alone as your source of happiness. This might not make much sense to you now, and as much as I hate to say this (because I hated hearing it when I was a child), it will make sense to you when you get older. There are a few other things I have learned that I want to share with you. But for now, I can only look forward to the time when I can talk to you about them. I’m still learning a lot, and I can’t wait to meet you and for you to teach me a thing or two about happiness.
What would you say to a child about the things you've learned when it comes to happiness?