When choosing items in a store, something we take into consideration is quality. Is this shirt well made? Will it last a long time? Quality is the benchmark to aim for. But it goes beyond products or goods. What we actually seek is quality in life – quality in friends, in goals, in mindset. While reading Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard, I came upon a thought. It read:

“’The quality of our lives.’ It’s an interesting phrase. I suspect most people think of this concept in terms of comforts and conveniences they enjoy. But I prefer to think that the quality of our lives has more to do with substance than style. A quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the world around it a better place in which to live. A quality life is one that is constantly growing, expanding its horizons and enlarging its borders. A quality life is one that is filled with love and loyalty, patience and perseverance, kindness and compassion. A quality life is one that is based on eternal potential and not confined to this life only. A quality life is a life well-lived.”

In this life I have been blessed to work in countries with those less fortunate. Although they don’t have much, many of them only a tarp and some mud for a home, they know what it is to live a life of quality. My first time traveling to a developing country I was 18 and nervous. Fresh off the airplane, I was greeted by the African rain. It didn’t take long for my new sandals to get covered in mud and my hair to go completely frizzy – I felt not only mentally uncomfortable but physically too. But, there I was, on the other side of the world, hoping that if I kept trying it would be worth it.

I’ve come to find that the times I’ve lived a life of the most quality it wasn’t because of the tangible things I had around me, but rather the relationships I’ve developed and their ability to enlarge not only my perspective but my ability to love and to care and to understand a viewpoint that was not my own.

As soon as I arrived in my village that first day, I knew I had found quality. My unsightly appearance and apprehension didn’t matter at all – I was instantly welcomed with song and dance. I began to learn what matters most.

As we go about our daily lives I hope we look through different eyes and strive to be a life that positively influences others, expands horizons and enlarges borders. But, most of all, strive to be a life that keeps perspective eternal. And hopefully, we can teach others what living a quality life really means.


Hanna Hansen has been lucky enough to work in the non-profit industry, specializing in bringing increased business skills to developing countries. She loves rainforests, hiking, dogs and knows random facts about airplanes. Her favorite Young Women’s value is Individual Worth, because if you begin to know who you truly are, life becomes simple and joy-filled.

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