Although there are a hundred reasons to be happy about, for some reason, we are more prone towards sadness. Even if we get a lot of compliments and good comments for something we have done, how quickly do we get caught up when someone says a bad comment. One thing we tend to forget is that happiness, only has value when there are sorrows.
According to the World Happiness Report 2020, Finland has been the number one country in the world for the past two years in terms of happiness. The secret of the people to this, is their 'balanced lifestyle'.
Even if it is a job that pays a five digit salary per month, even if it gives them more than they need, they won't continue with that job for long if the time spent with the family is cut short. Family, work, money and satisfaction together determines their happiness.
Jeffie Sass, the editor of this report, says, "In Finland, if one earns more than a required amount of money, the others might think, 'He has some sort of a problem.' Another reason for their happiness, is the relationship between the government and the citizens, who are one of the highest tax payers in the world. People are just happy to pay about 60 percent of their revenue as taxes, because they are so sure that the government will take care of their health, the education of their children and the social security of their families.
Another thing that amazes us is that Finland has a high suicide rate.
Doesn't that seem like a paradox? That's because it is a country that goes through extreme cold and heavy rain throughout the year. Mental illness is said to be linked to physical activities. The weather affects their mental health and movements. 'The more you move the more you live and the ultimate lack of movement is death'.
What I am going to say now, is what I really want to share with you through this post. 'Happiness can be boring'. Happiness seems valuable because it only occurs occasionally. When our life goes on for a long time without any hassles, it brings us to a feeling of 'tiredness'. What really gives 'life' to our lives are the sorrows and the hard times.
Happiness should only come occasionally, so that we do not sink ourselves into those sorrows. What we really experience until we reach towards something that we desired so much, is the joy of the journey to it! Once owned, it slowly becomes less dear to us, as it once was. Happiness is not a place we have to reach! It is rather, the joy we experience on our journey towards the destination. If everything goes the way we want it to, it will soon make us tired.
That night, when he succeeded in passing his three failed papers on the second attempt, he went straight to his gracious friend and said , "Finally, let's go get some sleep with a peace of mind, all that tension is over,".
He, who has a doctorate in Indian philosophy, said, "Now, it's time for you to be careful. It was these papers to win, that kept on motivating you to live so far. Now,There is nothing that makes you sad in your life. A boredom is likely to bother you." That was indeed very true, and until the new grief came to me the most boring answer I could to anyone's pleasure was just ' well...I'm doing quite well'.
So, as long as those books yet to be read are waiting on the table, as long as I'm staring at that sports car in a showroom that I cannot yet own, as long as the love that has not yet reached to a marriage circles around me, as long as I finish writing the script, that might someday come to life on the big screens,
I will be happy!
May be one day, I will achieve all this. On that day, all I would pray for, would be to have some new dreams along with me.
In short, the dreams that are yet to be fulfilled, are the fuel that keeps on driving our lives forward. It seems like our prayers should be slightly corrected! God, bless me with sorrows not too heavy! Because only sorrows are the key to happiness.
(This article published in Madhyamam Kudumbam is translated by Ibthisam Imthiyaz)