This archived article was written by: John Keetch
Sometimes life’s most important lessons are learned in the strangest places. I never go into these interviews thinking, “Well, what profound lesson will I be taught today?” Yet, I always learn something extremely valuable. This week’s lesson is on the key to happiness, as taught to me by Danielle Olsen and Maria Bjarnson.
Olsen, a 19 year old from Price, is in her second year of study at CEU. She enjoys running, chocolate chip cookies, and watching movies. She enjoys playing the piano, and has been studying piano for six years. She recently had three cavities filled, in stark contrast to Bjarnson, who has never had a cavity in her life. Her favorite movie is While You Were Sleeping, and she absolutely detests scrapbooking.
A firm believer in standing up for what you believe, Olsen has found her place as a natural leader, serving in leadership positions such as Miss Carbon County. And watching the way that she handles the SUN Center, you would think that she had been there since it was first organized. When asked about her reasons for serving others, she simply stated, “To be truly happy, you must help others to be happy.”
Bjarnson is also 19 years old, and comes from Midvale, Utah. She is studying to be a dental hygienist, and enjoys playing the piano, which she has studied since she was five. Her favorite foods are steak and strawberries, and her favorite movie is Toy Story 2, which she claims is the best Disney movie ever.
She is a part of the legendary Hebdon Clan, the 7th member of the family to attend CEU, and like most of her predecessors, is serving in the SUN Center. “It’s in my blood,” she says with a shrug. She hates self absorbed people, and feels that people should just be who they are. Service is a big part of Bjarnson’s life, because ” … people learn so much from serving others, especially about themselves.”
What really stands out about these two women is the genuineness of their character. As I spoke with them, I never felt like they were putting on their pretty face for the newspaper. They just were themselves, unafraid of what others might think. They had no fear, and as a result, they were happy. That is the key to true happiness.
So, lesson of the week? Image is nothing. Don’t trade who you are inside for the person others want you to be. In other words, penned many years ago by the immortal William Shakespeare, “Above all, this: To thine own self be true.”