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If the ultimate goal in life is to reach happiness, then I have met the most incredible of winners. To me he is the best example of true goodness. He does not judge by looks, does not occupy his mind with hateful thoughts, nor thinks he is less than anyone. Seeing the way in which he lives has made me see the world from a different point of view. In the world we live in today, most of us get mad very easily and sit and wait for someone to make us happy, not knowing that we control the way we feel. By the way, his name is Eric. Eric has Down’s Syndrome and lives with other handicapped kids and adults at a special center.
A few weeks ago, on Halloween, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a day at a center for the mentally and physically disabled. After leaving the place, I felt extremely lucky. I was healthy, and able to lead a normal teen life. “And we complain!,” I thought to myself.
Volunteering at the Ann Stork Center has shown me that kind souls do exist, and Eric is one of them. He kissed and hugged everyone. His condition did not stop him from being happy and feeling good about himself. Eric always wanted to play board games. He found them to be a lot of fun, especially those with words that he could repeat out loud. “I’m the man!,” he would say whenever he played his part. He danced and sang for us. This special person was a true artist and performer.
I gave Eric the feeling that he was wonderful and loved, while he showed me that happiness is what matters the most. He taught me to laugh at the happy moments that would have otherwise passed by without me noticing.
I probably won’t see Eric again, but he will definitely be thought of. If only us the “normal” people were this positive, the world would be so different. It’s true we live more stressful lives, making it harder to be in a good mood all the time. But then again, isn’t it hard for Eric too? True happiness comes from the desire to live. This experience will definitely stay with me for a very long time, if not for my whole life. If the ultimate goal in life is to reach happiness, then I have met the most incredible of winners.
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