Happiness. A word that possesses in itself, a whole dimension . An emotion that originates in the heart and is displayed on one’s face in the form of a natural smile. An emotion that can bring a silver lining out of the utter darkness and dismay. Something that can add meaning to one’s life and serenity to one’s character. It is something that can tell a person why to live, and when to live: ‘why’ in the sense of a good reason and ‘when’ in the sense of a good moment. Both, in the sense of being happy and tranquil. Happiness is what keeps us alive. But are we really happy in our lives? Let’s give this a thought.
In the world we live nowadays, life , with all of its essence and side-effects, has become something more like a racing game. You have to be fast in order to catch up with this world and it’s complexities. Sometimes, you even have to defy your choices and desires in order to get to that status at which the world admires you. It’s a kind of never say die, never stop situation.
That little innocence and purity that lies at some corner of your heart always remains hidden under the caches of money you desire to make, lists of luxuries you desire to own or the number of positions you dream to achieve. Life starts revolving in a monotonous cycle and the achievement and struggle for our desires becomes a source of happiness. That’s where we lose the essence of happiness. We are stereotyped to do what the world wants us to; not to do what our heart wants us to. We are so focused in this race to achieve our objectives that we leave our passion somewhere behind. Somewhere where it becomes forgotten too. The world can teach us how to stay happy, but it can’t teach us how to achieve true happiness.
Without being partial, I’ll like to state that our happiness varies from kind to kind. From buying a new PS4 to getting a delivery of a brand new Polo shirt, to getting a new job and having a complimentary remark from our teacher, to securing a position or hanging out with friends even, all of them serve as different reasons for us being happy. Honestly, all of the above are valid. But if we look at the wider picture, most of the activities of our life are concerned with our personal self and don’t bring any happiness to the people around us. They don’t bring mirth to someone who can only look up to the luxuries we have and maybe cannot achieve it himself. Someone who might be trying well but his luck isn’t on his side. Can any of our actions bring a smile on his face and provide us with the ‘happiness’ in it’s purest form? Can we make people happy around us? Let’s ask ourselves.
Ever thought about the happiness one can bring by helping a destitute person, listening to his story and providing him one’s support? Ever thought of giving a few of your books to your servant’s little son who has the urge to study more but can’t due to the lack of resources? Ever thought of offering a helping hand to the Imam of a mosque who’s wife is having a long term disease? Have you ever thought of motivating an addict in his pursuit to leave addiction? Has any of us ever thought of the smile we can bring on the office boy’s face by simply extending a nice gesture towards him? Have we ever thought of how a bare footed slumdog child would feel if he is provided with a new pair of slippers or even how our parents would feel if we can just sit with them at sometime of the day and extend to them our affection?
This list can go on and on.
But, the main point under consideration is that, with the passage of time, our happiness has started to limit to material gains of our own entity. We spend most of our time in our daily routine chores (we indeed have to), thus the emotions of success and triumph only get confined. We never manage to escape from the bubble of these responsibilities and chores so that we may come closer to the much larger world. Though, our making up of responsibilities makes someone happy, but this phenomenon is actually a chain effect. It depends on the core intention. If we aren’t performing a duty with zeal and with the intention of helping others out, in return the others may also not perform their duties well either. This chain then goes on and on, thus resulting in a society in which the people may perform their material duties well, but may not realize the true happiness concealed in the doing of their daily chores. Purity becomes extinct. The element of care completely vanishes.
I still remember my father telling me in my childhood that when he was a child, the norms and moral qualities were more pure than what is observed nowadays. There lived a man in his street who would place a tub of herbal drink (or Rooh Afza as we name it) at one corner of the street every summer, and people used to drink from there and quenched their thirst for free. He even used to give out some food to the poor people separately. He wasn’t a rich person or a public figure. He simply was a man with pure intentions. I am sure all of your father’s must have something to tell about those norms too. Although, I agree that there are still individuals out there who do a lot of social and philanthropic work, but honestly they aren’t in any such great numbers.
So after all this detailed sketch of the above mentioned situation, what is the solution then? It’s quite basic. Start from the place where you live and your vicinity. Start from that servant’s son; that neighbour’s child. Start from your parents by making them feel valued. Start by donating books and commodities to an orphanage. Start from the most common people and the common places you come across in your life. Start by helping others and making a difference as much as you can. Basically, start from yourself.
Once you ‘start’, the positivity you’ll feel will drive you miles ahead. You’ll feel an optimistic change and a purpose of your life. That’s the point when the world becomes yours. That’s the point where ‘happiness’ becomes yours. Just try to get over all the boundaries of marks, money, status, fashion and competition, and try to play your role in this regard to the extent you can. Feel passionate about whatever you do. Give humanity a superior status to your daily achievements. But yes, never stop working hard in your personal life situations. A balance is always preferable.
Then one day, sitting on your comfy chair taking that last sip of your espresso on a cold night, do ask yourself again:
“Am I really happy?”
Certainly, you’ll find the answer to that question yourself.
(P.s: I have the shown the side that happiness is about keeping others happier than your own entity. That’s the main focus. Happiness is indeed a vast topic and has many aspects.)