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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Erich Fromm once said, happiness is not a gift of gods. It is achieved out of one’s own inner productiveness. He who executes his role just as a child plays a game for the sake of play, enjoys the best of both the worlds. Unfortunately, as we grow older and wiser, it is reported that we often lose that ‘imagination’ with which a child is often found transforming commonplaces into the priceless. As  Wordsworth said, children come into this world ‘trailing clouds of glory’; with a pure mind— tabula rasa. We also often watch children ‘being alive to the moment’ and display a fresh quality of freedom, of “letting themselves go” —all with curiosity, and yet we fail to realize this simple truth: that happiness is more ‘in being spontaneous’ as the children are. 

According to Aristotle, it is the people, who are endowed with self-sufficiency, unweariedness and capacity for rest, and intellect, that find happiness in every act of theirs. “Every normal function of life holds some delight”, said historian William Durant. It is those people who cultivate a liking for themselves, of course for true reasons, that succeed in being happy.  But there are often those unhappy people who never hold themselves responsible for their condition, but instead blame their jobs, marriages, or the cruelty of fate. Such people will have no warmth to give, and are destined to be frustrated and confused. 

The secret of life is perhaps never explained fully by any seer or philosopher. It always remains new, to be understood by us, to be realized anew everyday. And ‘happiness’ is not on sale to buy and consume’. Happiness is to be experienced. And no one knows from where this emanates, as each has his/her own perception of happiness. For instance, Emerson said: “the only place where I feel the joy of eminent domain is in my woodlot. My spirits rise whenever I enter it. I can spend the entire day there with hatchet or pruning-shears making paths, without a remorse of wasting time. I fancy the birds know me, and even the trees make little speeches or hint at them….” This only reaffirms What Socrates said:  ‘Happiness is a state of mind’. 

Tolstoy has once pithily observed: ‘if you want to be happy, be’. And that’s what the quest for happiness is all about. One such search of our predecessors says that a frame of mind of “all in one and one in all” paves the way for happiness—

Behave with others as you would with yourself.
Look upon all the living beings as your bosom friends, for in all of them there resides one soul.
All are but a part of that universal soul.
A person who believes that all are his soul-mates and loves them all alike, never feels lonely.
The divine qualities of forgiveness, compassion and service will make him lovable in the eyes of all.
He will experience intense joy throughout his life.


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