Happiness and Acceptance

Happiness and Acceptance
By Sara Gamachew
August 7th, 2014

I think the two things we as humans crave the most is acceptance. Gradually once a person feels accepted they feel content with life. I have just been observing this phenomenon lately in my own life.
I have come to the point that trying to remember the past is not something that I am required to do. No in fact just being able to resume life itself is my biggest job these days.
When I started writing this post, I was not sure what was all on my mind on this particular topic. I have been watching many of the people that I have been living among in this little town in Ethiopia. When you look at the expression on their face, you tend to see a twinkle in their eye and smile on their face. It is almost contagious. People are very laid back and friendly. When they ask me, what I think of the town… they are generally curious. Apparently, I have learned that without saying a word my body language speaks for itself. Yes, I might look like an Ethiopian on the outside… but there is just something different about me. As of a few weeks ago, I have started to realize that I was acting like the real me. The side of my personality that was caring and friendly has begun to show up in various points in my day.
Well it has been a month since I began this post and a lot has changed. I have seen some of the neighborhood kids get a first chance of an education that they regularly may not have gotten. As I heard some of the reasons why they could not be registered, I was emotionally upset. One of the reasons included that they were too old. The funny thing was this particular child would have qualified for Kindergarten if not 1st grade or so. It made me think about how lucky we are in the United States for those who advocate for everyone to get a chance at just about anything from education to employment and everything else in between.
Now you might ask me Sara, what this has to do with Happiness or Acceptance. See that is a funny thing that is what I kept asking myself as I looked at this post day after day trying to finish it. It is something that is actually very dear to my heart. I look at my family and see it represented in those who went out of their way to do things that was against the norm. I saw it in my mom who made sure that my younger brother and I got an education. I saw it in my father who made the ultimate decision to come to America to get an education and help his own family and people now in the present. Yes and that is just a couple examples in my life where I saw how people made an everyday decision to help others just so they could be accepted by their peers and even their family.
Another reason I am writing on this particular topic is that in my own family I have felt something that I have yearned for many years…acceptance. Even after going through a very interesting situation that nearly broke my family apart due to my past choices. That I could be welcomed back not only to my family… but also my community with open arms. I was not prepared for any of that. It is why these days I try to warn young people about actually listening to their parents. Yes, they seem a bit out there at times, but later on down the road, you might thank them for their advice. Without them, it is a scary world out there.
Plus it took me 10 months to realize not only does the people I least expected to accept me after such a life changing moment in my life… but I can see in their eyes that they are actually happy that I am here to change my own life.


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