The mantra to being happy is to keep it simple. You’ll find happiness in the smallest of things. I’ve learned this from nature – arguably a better teacher than any person can ever be. One morning, when I sat having my tea by the window, I saw one of the sparrows who lives in the birdhouse outside playing on the grille. Her slightly odd movements attracted my attention. On closer inspection, I realized that she had only one leg, with an injured stub where the other should’ve been. Without realizing, I started keeping tabs on her from that day onwards. I then came to realize that she was never idle, nor helpless. She never expressed any kind of weakness. She’d play with her mate, preen, feed, hunt, and nest just like the other sparrows. Her chirping never failed to make me smile.
She showed me how simple happiness could be. Expectations, comparisons and cursing at fate can only give you momentary satisfaction, if any at all. A certain amount of selfishness is absolutely fine. The problem arises when one stops being able to distinguish between simply wanting something and absolutely needing it. The more one has, the more one wants. In this way, contentment and happiness simply cease to exist in one’s life.
Have you ever observed the actions of a young child? Have you ever noticed how unaffected and simple the innocent joys they see in the world are? We were all born happy. This materialistic world is what has shaped us and made a whole new person out of us. This can’t even be avoided if you wish to survive in todays day and age. I myself knew unaffected happiness when I was younger. I vaguely remember relaxed days, always spent smiling or laughing. My teachers at school once called me ‘smiling beauty’. Then life happened, and like any other person, I too started shaping my life to fit into the ideals of society. I knew then what I know now; it didn’t make me happy. So now, I’ve learned to take notice of the things that once made me smile, once again.
The thing is, happiness is a direction, not a destination. Don’t deny yourself the things you truly love, and don’t fixate on things you don’t really care for. It may sound cliche, but a lot of the things that can give you joy are things you cannot buy.
So, keep smiling. Your smile can, perhaps, help others find theirs too.
– Leena 🙂