Happiness – a mirage ?
Music was blaring loudly in my ears, I was pushing my legs to run even faster, I was feeling a burn inside me, but that burn had nothing to do with the fire inside my head. Earlier that evening, feelings of anger, sadness & resentment, all of them washed over me at once making me depressed & frustrated. I won’t go into the reasons of that but I just stopped sprinting at that moment & tried to take a hold on the storm of emotions which was wrecking my insides. I was breathing roughly, my face was red with exertion & I’m pretty sure I had a monstrous expression on my face due to my inner conflict. I looked around & composed myself a bit. I walked over to a nearby bench & turned off the electro music & sat down.
For a moment, I just sat there in a trance & thought …. WHAT IS HAPPINESS? Is it even real? Or is it just a figment of our imagination? I kept pondering on it until my unripened mind came to the conclusion that happiness is just a notion, varying with each mindset. For some, happiness may come in the form of shopping, it may come in the form of riding an expensive vehicle, for foodies, it may come in delicious dishes, for couch potatoes, it may come in the form of watching television, for alcoholics it may come in the form of booze. You see, everyone has their own definition of happiness. But all of this is just a temporary happiness. A momentary contentment. Not the real deal.
Then I looked it up & according to Merriam Webster, it is – a state of being happy - feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
Obviously this wasn’t the answer I was searching for, so, I kept on contemplating.
It was getting dark & then I got up to make a move towards my home. On my way back, I saw two little boys playing with a ball. But what struck me the most was that, they were wearing tattered clothes, bare feet & the ball was also not in a good condition, YET they had joyous expressions on their faces. After seeing that, I mused “was that the actual happiness?”
And then the bulb over my head lit up!!
“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
Things like desires, lusts, wants, expectations, greed and comparisons are the weeds checking the growth of happiness into the garden of our life. We should try to eliminate these things out of our lives but, then again, I’m also aware of the human nature of never being satisfied. Throughout our lives, we keep on chasing the intangible figment of happiness. We keep looking for it in transient things without realizing that big things like happiness cannot be fitted into the boxes of materialism. The real happiness lies within you. When you have made peace with what you have, with your surroundings, with your life, most importantly, with YOURSELF, happiness will make itself known right then. People spend their entire lives searching for “that” contentment, we keep on looking for happiness outside whereas it is right here with us, all we need to do is open our eyes & take a look inside.
“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
- NATAHNIEL HAWTHORNE