What I learned in a day in Haiti

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Recently I went on a cruise with family to Royal Caribbean’s private beach in Haiti. For most of the day I relaxed on a lounge chair enjoying the tropical paradise. While doing so I watched the locals try to sell souvenirs and dote on tourists for tips. What really struck me was watching them clean the water of trash and debris with, what appeared to be, homemade baskets. Though it was far from a true representation of Haiti’s economic state, it opened my eyes to a lifestyle far from the one I live. I began to feel guilty for my differing circumstances.

Surely they must be disheartened to spend their life cleaning up after our luxuriousness. I was surprised to learn, from them, they are happy and grateful we come to vacation because it provides them opportunities for a better life.

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Finding happiness in life is just as obtainable for them as it is for me because their focus is not on their circumstance but rather on improving their life and the lives of their loved ones. They focus on becoming better.

All to often, I allow my happiness to be dictated by where I am. Residing in a self-indulgent, instant-gratification society I find myself focusing on what I don’t have. I do this so much I found myself comparing the Haitian’s lifestyle to my own. What I should be focusing on is what I can do. No matter where I am; literally and figuratively in life, focusing on becoming better will always bring the most happiness.

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