“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Abraham Lincoln
With summer break nearing to an end and summer camps coming to a close, the excited chatter and the melee around were a welcome sight last weekend. Like every year, contests were held and best prizes were announced. Interestingly during the course of events, especially at the award ceremony, the expressions on the faces of many adults, parents or guardians and the like had caught the eye. While kids were happy that they had or hadn’t secured a prize, the momentary disappointment as well loss of happiness on the adults’ faces was a cause for surprise. At the end of the day, the tussle of thoughts were whether prizes do really matter or is the joy of the vent more fun.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi
The catch to happiness always depends on how one defines it. One can be happy or sad for the same reason. One can find joy for the moments or consistently ponder over the uncertainty of the next and lose sight of the present. Like there are many shades to a single colour, there are innumerable ways on how to react to a particular situation as well as choose the face of our happiness. Eventually everything boils down to our understanding of happiness in life and what it comprises of.
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” Guillaume Apollinaire
When we react to any event, they are two main faces that can happen. Either we chose to be happy or change the mood such that the events don’t shadow the inner happiness or peace. On the other hand, we can let the sequence of events affect one’s actions, words and thoughts dimming or darkening the mood for the day. What we fail to realize that all the wile, people around us, near or far are affected by one’s own after-effects. The change of moods can start off a chain reaction of words or actions, which in some cases, once said may not be easily taken back. When those affected around us are children, what those young minds grasp and learn from the adult behaviour goes a long way to influence and shape theirs. The next time one cribs about losing one’s happiness; look around and ponder within whether we are solely responsible for it or not. For the actions belong to others, but power of thoughts, remedial thinking and words are in our own court.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Helen Keller
What Is Happiness?
So, what is that happiness, people?
Ones answer, “It is to be mingled
With cards, alcohol and flirtations –
And all kinds of tempting sensations.
The others have beatitude’s vision
In money and higher position:
In flattering ‘kindly’ permitted,
And awe of the workers submitted.
The thirds think that it is in actions
Reflecting the perfect relations:
Sweet kindness, good care, attention
And general hearts’ comprehension.
The fourths think that it’s just advises
To meet with your dear sunrises,
To tell her your love and your favor
And go together forever.
And sometimes the meaning is longing
That it is the permanent burning:
The job, dreams and searching enlivened,
The pair of the wings for the heaven!
I think that in all enterprises,
Has happiness different sizes:
From peaks to a lowest mound,
Depending from people around.
-Eduard Asadov, Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, March, 2001
“True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self.” Joseph Addison