What Makes You Happy?


  • Author Jon Engel
  • Published October 26, 2011
  • Word count 576

Ok, I admit it, at times I feel like I am in the midst of a midlife crisis. Not really a crisis, I am not rushing to do anything radical. I guess a better way to say it is that in the last few years I have been exploring change, getting my values in line with me and figuring out what is ultimately going to make me the happiest I can be. I have come to question the path I am on and there have been some subtle turns in the road which I am navigating.

This past Thursday I had a really interesting day and it made me assess again what are some of the things that make me feel happy.

I went to the monthly meeting of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce. I have been a member for about a year and a half now and I am very grateful to be part of them. At the lunch I sat down next to the woman who is in charge of raising funds for Fairfax High School, and during this time of economic troubles, Fairfax has managed to bring in outside funding to redo a large part of the campus. Wow..the community cares…isn’t that great.

During the roundtable during the lunch I was able to tell the Chamber how our office and our patients supported the Smiles For Life charity fund raising we did in our office. Our office raised over $6400 of which half will go to the Hollywood/Wilshire YMCA and their after school program at the Wilshire Crest School (located about a mile east of our office on Olympic). Since the schools don’t have money for PE the YMCA goes in and gives the kids a structured program in both exercise and eating to help them become healthy responsible kids. And guess what…..they have asked me to become a board member of the Y. I am flattered and honored to do so.

Fast forward a few hours and I am entering the parking garage on Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills. Now, I usually leave my change at home every night and put it in the ar, but I didn’t do it the night before and I consciously put the money in the pocket in the morning. Sure enough as I exit the garage there is a homeless man asking for change for food. It was so easy to stick my hand in my pocket and help him.

But nothing prepared me for what I saw a few seconds later. Walking down Bedford there was another homeless person and this woman gave him her leftover salad from lunch. It was the coolest thing I had actually witnessed in a while. I don’t know why but it actually moved me and made me lose track of the conversation I was having on my cell phone. I felt good and happy.

When I had a chance to sit down and reflect about it I realized that my path of life must have a significant component of giving back. I may never be considered a heavy hitter in the world of charity and I will give as much as I can, but I have a wealth of energy and knowledge that I can share with those I come in contact with. If I can positively affect one person every now and then……….then I am on the right path.

A native of Southern California, Dr. Engel graduated from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco in 1982. He has also completed a mini residency in Esthetic Dentistry from Esthetic Professionals as well as many other areas of dentistry. http://www.socaldentalhealth.com/index.html

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