Are we supposed to be happy?

Most people I know want to be happy.  

Yesterday I began conversations with individual students by asking, “What makes you happy?” The answered varied but there were common themes.


“My lunch” and “My mom’s cooking” landed in the hungry stomach category.  Both of these responses came during lunch. The lunchtime crowd offered a variety of food related happiness thoughts, sometimes speaking to me while chewing on a sandwich.  One boy conversed while flipping M&Ms up into the air and catching them in his mouth.

“My friends” and “Being able to come to the school” were two answers that told me that some teens have a hunger for relationships that matter.   

How would parents and adults answer the same question?  

Later in the evening Father Camou, Mr. Walker and I met with more than fifty volunteers who had come to St. John Paul II to learn about our service program and opportunities for volunteering.


I want to make a difference in the community.

I can tutor in Math.  

I’m available to help with clerical tasks.

I’d like to help organize an event.

I can help with clean-up or set-up.  

Anything I can do to help will make me happy.

Happiness comes from giving or contributing.  When we contribute to our community or to others, we experience Christ.  We taste happiness that is better than lunch.


Hungry for something more satisfying than the contents of your brown-bag lunch, consider volunteering at St. John Paul II Catholic High School.