As adults we are often so consumed with our desires and ideas of happiness that we forget what once made us happy as children.
Youth is marked by carefree spirit and enjoyment of simple pleasures; it’s only as we grow older do we become so heavily weighed down by outside influences. If only we could return to a time of no bills, no politics, no race or separation, a time where the only thing bringing us down was knowing we had to say goodbye to our friends and go home for dinner. Youth was a time of big dreams and little worry.
I wanted to gain the perspective on happiness from a youthful point of view so I interviewed my 11 year old nephew. What I thought was going to be a less than exciting interview turned out to be an incredibly insightful discussion that I think even the most mature adult can benefit from.
10 Questions About Happiness
1. What does happiness mean to you?
T.D: I think that happiness is love that you feel. I feel a lot of happiness when I’m with my family.
2. What do you think your idea of happiness will be 5 years from now?
T.D: In 5 years I think happiness will be my family and baseball. These two things mean a lot to me now and I think they will still mean a lot to me as I grow up.
3. What is your happiest memory so far in life?
T.D: My happiest memory is when great-grandpa died. We spent a lot of weeks and even years taking care of him. He was always so amazing to me and loved me very much so when he died I knew he was in Heaven and finally happy.
4. I remember when I was a kid I always thought that when I became an adult life would be easier and I would be much happier – do you think that as you get older you’ll be happier?
T.D: I guess it depends on how my teenage and college years go. I guess if I’m successful in baseball I can make a lot of money and I can support my family like they deserve. My Mom, Dad, and Nonnie (grandma) have taken care of me throughout the years and I want to give back to them, this would make me very happy when I’m older.
5. What makes you most unhappy?
T.D: Drugs, guns, kidnappers. I can’t believe we live in such a hateful world and I wish we could all just get along.
6. What is something you wish adults knew about happiness at your age?
T.D: How easy life really is. My parents always talk about money and people fighting in the world, people really just need to chill the freak out. My mom just got upset about my sister pouring chips in a bowl and all I can think is that it’s really not a big deal in life. Adults are always getting upset over the little things in life.
7. Where are you most happy?
T.D: With my family. They are the most important thing to me, they have been there for me through everything.
8. As you grow older what do you think will bring you the most happiness in your life?
T.D: My brother. I can’t stand him right now in life but my Mom and Nonnie always tell me how you and Uncle Adam used to fight all the time and now you guys own shirts with each other’s faces on them (we do) and are best friends.
9. What is your least happy memory?
T.D: I don’t know. I’m pretty happy. My life has been super amazing. There’s no unhappy memories in my life … yet.
10. Are you happy?
T.D: Yes! I always try to be happy and positive about everything because I get to have food, non-abusive parents, parents that let me hang out with my friends, a house, go to school not in the hood, and a mom who takes care of me when I’m sick. My life is good.
My Take Away
Since I’ve known Trey his whole life, I can attest to how big of a heart this kid has. I really consider him more of a little brother since I was only 13 when he was first born and we’ve grown up together throughout the years – often living together.
It’s interesting to note that even though his family has faced many many struggles over the years, he hasn’t let that bring him down: “There’s no unhappy memories in my life .. yet.” It just shows how resilient and forgiving the youthful mind is rather than one that ruminates and holds on to negativity as is so often seen in adults.
The biggest take away I got from this discussion with Trey was his answer to the question “What is something you wish adults knew about happiness at your age?” which was essentially don’t sweat the small stuff – something I think almost everyone can agree on.
“10 Questions About Happiness” are posts that explore what happiness means to different people. These people come from all walks of life – some are successful in their respective careers while others are struggling to stay afloat, some live exciting lives while others live day-to-day. Happiness to one person may be completely different to another – the goal is to find what happiness means to different people and how we can apply it to our own lives.
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