Laughter is the best medicine, as they sayâ€”it really is! But is it enough to say that happiness is just obtained by simply laughing or by merely smiling?
It is true that all of us experience varying degrees of happinessâ€”in all different hues and colors, and with all of its complexities. People would be content with just satisfying personal wants, some other would want inner peace and time to unwind. People would equate happiness with pleasure, others with pain. But what is it that would eventually appease our ailing soul in its endless search for true bliss? What then would make a happy life?
In my search for that something that makes a happy life, I came across different people with different perspectives and opinions, which can somehow give us concrete ideas to enlighten our understanding regarding this matter.
The first person I met during my journey was a lexicographer. I asked him, "Sir, do you know what is it that would make a man happy?" He quickly grabbed onto one of his dictionaries, and started to find something. Finally, he began to read, "Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable satisfaction. To be happy is to enjoy contentment and to feel satisfied; it came from a Middle English word, hap." Upon having his "concise" definition, I went on to my quest with a mind still full of dangling technicalities.
I then tried the aid of a poet, asking the same bothering question. He looked above and through the horizon, and said, "Happiness is like a sunbeam, which the least shadow interceptsâ€¦Happiness is not a rewardâ€”it is a consequence, it isn't something one experience, rather, it's something one remembersâ€¦" But before he was through, I realized that I was in fact, gliding into the lofty and romantic realms of blissful reality.
Moving on, still yearning for more, I stumbled upon a group of seemingly knowledgeable persons, much like philosophers. I have asked them the same query and they gave me several responses. One told me that happiness is when you've achieved your goals and everything you've always wanted in life. Another provided the idea of Utopia, of which everything is in perfect harmony, but of them rebutted, sayingâ€”"Utopia for all is impossible for people have these traits of selfishness and aggression in their genes." One person agreed and added, "People experience varying degrees of happiness because they have relative wants for it. We can have it only through an individual pursuit, 'cause a happy life is a life-long struggle for one but not for everybody." I enjoyed listening, but an argument is starting to build up. I don't want to spoil my search so I left the group.
It is already dark and as I trek along the winding road, almost in desperation, I noticed these bright neon lights. I was so attracted by their radiant glows that I walked towards them relatively unconscious of what I was doing. I said to myself, "Wow, I think I've found where happiness really is!" Inside, everything was in festive mood, liquors overflowing, people satisfied and in constant merrymaking like there is no tomorrow. But nonetheless, I came into realization that this is nothing but an illusion to cover misery and insatiable lust with inappropriate sense of pleasure. So I left, with hope almost gone.
I came across a group of children, clad in rug-like clothes, gently extending their arms to reach over the rambling passers-by. Something came upon me, so I gave them some of my coins. Then I saw in them this tender smile of gratitudeâ€”and of contentment. The same is true with what I felt during that encounterâ€”I felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness inside of me.
In this search for contentment, we tend to turn to superficial pleasure. We search for joy in worthless desires for money, power, and sex. But it doesn't have to be this complicated. Happiness may not be as rare as it may seem. It can be achieved in simple deeds of generosity, in reaching out to others, and by exercising our freedom for the benefit of all. It is indeed more satisfying to give something coming from within usâ€”something dear to usâ€”than to snatch other people's object of desires. Also, we can find happiness in sufferings and grievancesâ€”making life sweeter and indeed, making it more meaningful for without which we cannot attain pure bliss.
Finally, I got home after that tiring journey. My family and I ate dinner together. Afterwards, I called up some friends, sent text messages for a while before I took my rest. And as I close my eyes to pray, I asked myself again what's that thing that makes a happy life?â€”As I opened my eyes upon the greeting sunlight of the next morn, I now knew at last, I have found happiness in my life, and I thanked God for giving me such.
What we can gain from this simple journey enables us to look beyond what our senses can perceive. Sometimes, we embark upon long, exasperating journeys, blindly aiming for something, always searching and yet, not findingâ€”only to find out that the answer we've long been trying to figure out, can't be that far from us, in fact, it can be found deep within us. What we need is to establish this strong will inside, to reflect, learn, and discover the precious gems of happiness hidden in all of us. This would not be hard if we are ready to open up ourselves and give up into understanding of yet simple things found amidst our existence.
The mere fact that we were able to experience living our lives, is more than enough reason for all of us to be happyâ€”we were able to dream and achieve, to share our blessings, to stand up high and face life's challenges, and sometimes cry when we feel so low, we were able to love and be loved, to wait in hope, and see everything from the sky aboveâ€”all of these makes us complete, all of which makes life happy. And finally, with all these and so much more, it is then rightful to give back due recognition and honor to our Almighty Father, from whom all good things springs and blossoms and with whom we'll obtain eternal joy and peace.
"Somethings are not meant to last. Let us leave it that way. Its better that we move on and continue our lives."