by Mualla

True Profit
A small, empty pouch sits on my desk. Every now and then, I glance in its direction and smile. Ironically, its emptiness fulfills me. The pouch inspires me to see the positive in every aspect of my life, starting with my experience at the NJ Flea Market Fair.
On a Saturday morning, a flyer in the mail caught my eye. It read: NJ Flea Market Fair- Sell your items and earn money! Having always wanted to earn my own money, I grabbed this opportunity and started to gather items I could sell. I untangled jewelry, washed clothing, and scrubbed old appliances.
On the day of fair, I felt my heart thumping, tinged with a hint of anticipation as I stood behind my stand. Before I knew it, my first customer approached! After chopping and changing through the pieces, a lady decided to buy my old dress. As I received my first earnings, I beamed. The couple of dollars I earned felt like millions.
In no time, I sold item after item; my pouch was filled with money. "Success!" I sank in joy. As the rush of buyers slowed down, a manager approached my stand. "Another customer," I thought, but I froze at her words: "Please pay the stand fee."
What? There was a stand fee? I was stunned into silence. As I handed over the fee, I felt empty, like I had finished a movie with an abrupt ending. All of my earnings were gone.
Before disappointment and regret could settle in, from far away, I caught sight of the small boy walking with my old box of marbles. I could still see his excitement as he swung the box back and forth. His joy reminded me of the lady who found comfort from my blue sweater, the teenage girl who adored my old pair of colorful sneakers, and the conversation I had with the old man who was thrilled to find picture frames for his granddaughter. As I looked back at my empty pouch, I could not help but smile.
So, my empty pouch sits on my desk. Looking at it, I smile because I know there is something positive in every day; it just needs to be discovered. When I find myself in a position that is less than ideal, I veer myself toward a positive attitude and strive for the best outcome. As a takeaway from the fair, at school and at home, I have persisted in unexpected situations as I tried to make the best, given the circumstances. Now, as an athlete, I value my progress over time in volleyball games more than just winning or losing. Likewise, I approach tough situations at work with resilience, and treat problems as a learning process. I see situations from multiple perspectives. Although I did not earn money that day, I gained something much more valuable: the excitement in the small boy's eyes to the smile from the old man. In retrospect, I am glad that I was not aware of the stand fee. Otherwise, how else would I have made a big profit?

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