What is happiness? TSRHC patient Anika, age 18, of Lewisville, has been winning awards for her thought provoking take on the subject.
In the latest triumph for her dramatic speech, “Happy,” the Lewisville High School senior competed in the National Speech and Debate Association’s annual National Tournament that was held in Dallas this summer. Anika was one of only two North Texas students to qualify in the Original Oratory category.
Earlier this year, she delivered the speech, which cites studies and other published observations about happiness, to TSRHC’s orthopedic staff.
Six years ago, Anika moved with her family from Bangladesh “for a better life,” she says, including medical care at TSRHC. She has cerebral palsy and has been treated at the hospital for related orthopedic conditions. The speech begins with Anika’s observation that from birth, the people closest to us “are blessing our futures with happiness and prosperity.” But what shape does that happiness take? She ponders whether what makes us happy is success, money, the latest technology and other “new ways of living easy” or a deeper inner satisfaction.
Anika’s own sense of happiness was shaken by a personal tragedy she outlines in the speech. “Step back, smell the roses, hug a little,” she says in closing. “And remember, it’s never too late to be happy.”