The Pursuit of happiness

It was one of the worst days at office for him. So, naturally, today he was more open to listening to his inner voice, which he would otherwise ignore in the normal flow of things. As soon as he reached his house, he threw himself on the couch and started thinking.

“Why do I always end up in sadness and pain when everything I do is to find happiness?”

“Why do all these things happen to me?”

“Why don’t we get what we want in life?”

“Is the pursuit of happiness wrong?” “Are we all supposed to just suffer?”

“Have we been born in this life to just suffer with only occasional breaks of happiness?”

As he was lost in his thoughts, he felt a hand land softly on his shoulder. It was his father. A wise, old man who somehow seemed to defy the laws of the world and always seemed happy and full of life. He would always try to share his understanding with his son but it all went in vain, most of the times. It didn’t make much sense to his son. It didn’t appeal probably. But today, the son was more receptive and the father more giving. So, began the conversation.

Why am I perpetually worried and never find happiness?

What do you think, my son?

I don’t know. The life seems to be full of struggle. Every time I think I’ll be happy when I achieve this or that but even when I achieve it, it doesn’t give any lasting happiness. All these pursuits seem hollow to me at times. Like everybody, I have been climbing this ladder faster and faster but at times, I wonder if this ladder is against the right wall.

Everyone is in pursuit of happiness but how many are actually happy? Just laughing does not mean happiness. It only hides the truth of pain and emptiness inside. When I look at a child laughing without a reason, sometime I take pity at him as he doesn’t know the reality that awaits him and sometime at myself for living in this reality.

I don’t know who I am and where am I heading and I don’t even have time to think about these questions either. Why do you think there is so much pain in the world? Why? You must be knowing the answer.

You know the answer, dear.

What do you think?

Does happiness lie in trustworthy relationships or superficial ones?

Does happiness lie in fewer deep friendships or large networks?

Does happiness lie in freely expressing yourself without fear of judgment or always trying to adjust in order to be accepted?

Does happiness lie in being the most attractive out there or in being accepted as you are?

Does happiness lie in being surrounded by forgiving people or ones who seek vengeance for slights?

Does happiness lie in being surrounded by people who genuinely love us or people who want something from us?

The world where people don’t look at each other as humans with dreams, character and souls but as objects for sexual gratification, monetary and other personal benefits,

Where there is a persistent fear of judgment, of being left out, of being cheated

Where trust in relationships have given way to perpetual doubts

Where there is increasing intolerance and violence

Where people get furious for even minor provocations

Where love is highly conditional

Where everyone is sacrificing his or her real self in order to fit in

What is the scope of finding happiness?

People are running after trivialities of life while the bigger questions remain unanswered. No one know the purpose of life. We have stopped even seeking answers to them because either we think the answers don’t exist or we don’t even feel the need of answers anymore. The adrenaline rush of running this rat race gives us such a high that we never put our feet on the ground to think about the foundations of life. Even when we find time to spend with ourselves, the experiences of getting cheated, bullied, embarrassed, judged, hurt surround us and make us even more depressed. What kind of life are we living? Filled with extreme pain and hurt inside, we seek our happiness outside.

Only rarely has a person the courage to face the storm inside and ask the most daring question to himself, “Is it possible that everything I have been doing is wrong?”. Only when one realises the possibility that he could be wrong in his entire approach to happiness, does one seek newer perspectives to it. Probably, your time has come. (To be continued)

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