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Interview Essay - John Tymkiw

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Interview Essay - John Tymkiw


John Tymkiw was born in the Ukraine on June 10, 1913. WWI broke out a year after he was born, and he lived through the Depression while Hitler and Stalin were fighting. When the Ukraine was signed over to Russian rule, many left, but John stayed and ran a cooperative association supply company. He came to America in 1951, through a sponsor in Chicago and then traveled to California in 1957. He was married in 1962, and had no children of his own, but had two-step children. He continued his life working in machinery and carpentry. He now lives alone in his condo in Laguna Woods, surrounded by his artwork and accomplishments.

John defines happiness as a feeling that does not have anything to do with possession. "It is all mental and spiritual," he says. When John was younger, he believed that the more he had, the happier he was, but now he understands that the material things have nothing to do with happiness. John knows he is happy because he has freedom. He is satisfied with the fact that he is free of pressure, worries, and stress. He feels that there is really nothing for him to turn to when he is unhappy, so he learns to deal with whatever may be bothering him. The only things that upset him are the outside forces that he has no control over. Before John started to lose his vision in January, he used to be a very active person. He kept busy as an artist. He painted porcelain sculptures and stained glass, and made stone pictures. He also loved to dance.

When asked what makes him unhappy, he replied that the declining morality around the globe bothered him. He feels that there is a lack of justice. He doesn't understand how people can take advantage of other people. He feels that there is t...


... middle of paper ...


...It was extremely difficult for him to find work. The social changes that John has seen which have affected his happiness include the decline in morality. He feels as if he has no way of fighting these changes in our society, so he has had to adapt himself quietly and take everything as it comes.

John is pleased with himself, and feels that there is nothing that can be changed. He is old enough to distinguish between good and bad, and he is a strong believer in his religion. He says that for fifty years, he did not feel as if he belongs in America, and now he still isn't sure, but he is happy.

The advice that John gives for being happy is not to think that the material things will make you happy, and to manage your life according to God's laws. That is the sure way to finding happiness.

His philosophy on life is that following God will lead you to happiness.


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