This I Believe – Akina Lindley


WBAA’s This I Believe Essay Contest announced the top ten winners for 2021. These ten student’s essays were chosen out of a record number 114 submissions.  Their essays will be posted on the WBAA website and each student will record their essay to be heard on WBAA. Please join us in congratulating Akina Lindley  and Karen Avendano Ortega. Tribe Radio featured Akina’s essay March 5, 2021.  After high school, Akina plans on furthering her education through a pre-law major. She wants to attend law school and become a Public interest lawyer that represents poor and marginalized individuals that are often overlooked in the system.  Here is Akina reading her “I Believe Essay”.

This I Believe: Happiness is Now

What will make you happy? Is it obtaining that goal you’ve been striving to achieve? Maybe it’s getting more money or popularity. For me, happiness has always been the next step, constantly moving and constantly being something different. I always held it off for the future, thinking one day I’d finally reach it. When I have my licenses, I’ll be happy. When I graduate, I’ll be happy, and the cycle continues.  I’ve learned that there is a problem with this mindset. I was so busy imagining the future that held my happiness that I missed out on truly enjoying those simple moments of happiness in the present moment. Splashing vibrant colors on a canvas, going on car rides with the people I love, finding new adventures to go on in my small town, everything is blurred because I was somewhere else; I was wanting more. 

We equate success with happiness, thinking that we have to do something before earning the title of being happy. But I’ve learned that the goalpost for success is always moving, and it will never stop. Striving for bigger and better futures doesn’t mean that you delay your happiness to the future; it means you enjoy every minute of progress contributing to your growth. And to truly enjoy those moments, we have to do the things we love. Maybe you love helping others, and you dedicate yourself to finding new ways to make an impact. Perhaps you love jumping out of your comfort zone, so you travel the world looking for an adventure. Dedicate yourself to the things that make you feel truly alive because we aren’t guaranteed that there will be a future that holds the happiness we want. The only thing we have is now. This, I believe.