Dear William A.

Happiness is when you feel in control of yourself and your situation. It's when you feel you have some power over what happens to you and what you do and think and feel and say.

Now there are some things in life that you just can't do anything about. If they are good things then you are lucky, and you'll probably be happy anyway.

If the things you can't do anything about are bad then you have two choices.

You can either shrug your shoulders and accept that that is the way things are and that there's nothing you can do about it. Or you can always be angry or miserable and not want to accept the way things are. If you choose the first way then you will probably be happy. If you choose the second way then you will definitely be un happy.

But there are lots of things you can do something about. If you have control over those things (whether they are good or bad) then you will more likely be happy.

So think of the things in your life that you can do something about--and do something about them. Make a plan for how you can make you life be what you want it to be. And go for it! It's up to you.

Some people find that even when everything seems right with their life they don't feel happy anyway. If that's the case then talk to someone about it. If it's a really big problem for you then talk about it with a doctor or someone you know at school or at home who you can trust.

Remember--one of the best ways to be happy is to be involved with other people. Make friends. Be involved.

Yours sincerely 

Virginia R. Claire

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