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In our culture, it is easy to become distracted by things. We want a new pair of boots, a nicer dining room table, a European vacation. We take for granted what we already have — our home, our health, our freedom. Being in Haiti filled me with an overwhelming sense of humility. Everywhere I looked, I saw people with none of the things I had, yet they seemed happier and more fulfilled than I am or the people whom I know. Children in cute plaid uniforms grinned from ear to ear, filled with joy to receive a simple bag filled with pens, pencils and a single notebook. I try as hard as I can to hold on to that feeling, to know that it is not the possessions I own or the number on my bank statement that define who I am; it is the person I am inside that matters. The people I encountered in Haiti taught me that lesson and it’s one I won’t soon forget.

By Jeniffer Bickel