I believe in Cliches

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Corey Snodgrass
WRTG 1150
Dr. Hightower

I Believe in Clichés

I believe in clichés. My family owns five cars, three houses valued over two million dollars each, and we literally never fight amongst ourselves. It would appear that happiness is something that should not be lacked by anyone under the Snodgrass roof. Prior to my immersion trip to South Africa, I was more depressed than anyone knew. Of course no one saw, but I lost all value in the life I was so privileged to be living. Africa changed that completely. One little boy made my cliché of a life have more value than ever before.

Since birth I had a lot handed to me: comfortable wealth, a respectable family, and a great education. Yet I would find something wrong with everything and everyone. I played just about every sport and was pretty good at all of them yet I still would hate myself for not being the greatest. Even in high school I had a good group of friends and great grades, but I was clinically depressed. I tried multiple anti-depressants and went to three different therapists. They thought it was just a chemical make up in my body that made me anxious and sad, but they were wrong. I only started to overcome my depression when I met a little boy in Africa.

I met the eight-year old boy in South Africa who had never owned a pair of shoes or ate more than one meal a day since he was born. He lived in a community of completely poverty stricken African people who lived in shacks made of cardboard and what ever else they could find. The boy was covered in dirt, shirt engulfed with grass stains and bruises all up and down his legs. But he was happy as any eight-year old I had ever seen. We sat down on a fallen tree atop a hill that over looked where he lived. After some debate on the best American rap artists, I asked him if he liked it in South Africa and after a non-emotional shrug of the shoulders he went off about America, “man America, that’s just, its just, your lucky man…” I told him it wasn’t everything that it appears to be and instantly regretted it. He obviously had seen television programs or magazines from America because he started practically screaming about our “Hollywood” culture. It was a little stereotypical but in some ways he was completely right about my life. Here was a kid who did not know what it was like to live in a house telling me how lucky I am and happy I should be to just be a kid living in America.

Something hit me that day that I will never forget: my life is a cliché, but who says that means I can’t find happiness? I realized I took for granted pretty much everything I have because, as conceded as it sounds, I was used to life being easy. Once I got home from Africa, I instantly began to notice how things like money in my wallet and a bed to sleep in were almost euphoric. It’s been a year and a half since my experience and the appreciation for my cliché life is stronger than ever. I believe my life is pretty cliché but that makes it awesome.