Saturday, March 12, 2011

Inspired by a conversation with the sister

It is never as easily done as it is said it will be done.
Things are never what they seem. Most times.
All my life I have believed things are what you make them to be.
And have thus believed wholeheartedly in the concept that life is indeed simple. That is because I have always wanted it to be simple. Simplex is not simple. It's complex. But then again it's simple if you can understand and deal with the complex. That is why probably the designation, simplex.
Everyone who believes in the simplicity of life would be in total agreement with me if I were to state, not for the first time, that you should do what makes you happy. That forms the base of this simplicity in life. The happiest people are the ones blessed with ignorance and those who live by the simple belief of doing what makes them happy.
But the brutal truth of life is that: it's never so easy. There are always hurdles to conquer, the path is rocky, the one that leads to happiness. But then it is supposed to be difficult. If life is not difficult today it cannot be easy tomorrow. Being happy is not an instant gratification process. That's if you're excluding the burst of joys that are attained from doing simple things like eating your favourite chocolate or using your favourite shampoo.
If only life were that simple.
There are so many problems that can occur when deciding to do the things that will make us happy.

One: what you may want for yourself to make you happy NOW might be different from what you may want tomorrow. For example, wanting to go home to family right now when you're working your ass off at meetings abroad, because that will make you happy NOW versus continuing to work hard feeling miserable about life now, knowing that when you finally go home you will be happy. This instance is for the future guarantee of happiness. That's what people do. You are constantly making provisions for your future happiness. You're studying so that one day you can earn good money thinking that that money will make you happy. And it will, undoubtedly, to a certain extent.

Two: This a huge problem. What if what you want and what makes you happy are two different things? What do you do then? For example, a drug addict WANTS them drugs, but he wants them knowing that it is not making him happy. The feeling he feels after he gets his fix is not that of happiness, it's that of lust gratified. Deep down he KNOWS how pathetic he is. He can't even look himself in the eyes.

Three: What if doing what you want to do will make you happy now, but you know after a while you're going to be miserable? Do you NOT do it simply because you're so sure about your future miserableness? Do you do it anyway, with the attitude that the consequences will be dealt with as and when they come?

Four: The whole highly spiritual concept of inner happiness. What is that business? Inner happiness is all about feeling happy regardless of the environment you're in, and spreading that happiness like a prism of light. That is so noble and all, but how do you overcome the basic human instinct of defense and survival. This probably doesn't make sense because I haven't made the link yet, so, here: defense and survival are primitive instincts that stems from being selfish, or having that basic sense of self preservation. And when you're selfish, which everyone is, wouldn't you want for those things to happen, that will be in your best interests? Won't you want to rid yourself of a bad environment? Won't you want to fight to get and do the things that make you happy? Of course you will. Maybe I am being cynical and appearing to shun the concept of inner happiness, but I am merely trying to rationalize it all out. Make sense of things. Weigh the odds.

Five: the worst of all, what if your happiness is at the cost of someone else's? Do you then choose to be selfish and do what it is to make yourself happy? Do you NOT do it, solely for their happiness, hoping that act of grudging selflessness will give you probably even more happiness that you could ever dream of? So many unanswered questions.

Six: Love. Yeah, love. Many times love prevents happiness. Love keeps that woman who is repeatedly mentally abused by her husband stay. Love makes people stay, no matter how much it hurts. Couples stay together in a loveless marriage because of their love for their kids. How about fighting for love then? If it's love that makes you happy, then shouldn't you fight for it? I think that at the end of the day, it's about how much effort you put to save yourself and others, how much you fought to keep yourself happy, how much you fought to keep the love.

I don't know whether I like how I have written this, with the whole one two three shit. I think the essential idea of this whole happiness shit is to find inner peace. When you are at peace, that's when you're happy. Aim to be unruffled by petty things, unaffected by anyone, unanswerable to anyone, detached from sentiments, unarmed because you only need armour when you're fighting; aim to be unguarded yet strong.
But is that rational? Isn't that too high an aim? How can you be all these things? They seem so impossible. But it isn't impossible. Nothing is. Right?

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