People who personally know me will identify with my expression, "I mean... really?". That is what I have been forced to exclaim from the past couple of days with a certain bunch of... let's say people.
In the order of occurrence -
Someone recently described his girl friend to me as being reliable, firm and durable. My monologue wanted to hazard a guess on her name. What came to mind was this - Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirrelli and Good Year.
Yesterday, a friend of mine passed on an application that predicted my role in the past life. Although not a firm believer of it, I gave it a whirl. The answer that I got - Baker!. Hmm. I thought I refresh the page to check how true this is. The answers I got - Sheep, Scary Warrior, Giraffe, Mad Scientist. Hmm.
Then, cream on the cake arrive this morning. Apparently, most people of today are on a constant pursuit for happiness. That is sad but true. We're constantly in search of materialistic pleasures that we swing away from the simple pleasures in life that bring happiness.
To be honest, even I was on that train. Although I knew and believed in simple living and high thinking (thanks to my parents!) I did not quite put my finger on it. I reckon this is because of my age. I have been told I am way mature than my age. But, I believe that there are a certain things that comes with age. And, thanks to a very good friend of mine (you know who you are), I have realized that. And, when I take time everyday to self-reflect on myself (been doing this since I was 8/10 years old) I familiarize myself with them. However, I feel sad about the upcoming generation. And, I feel sad for the ones who are elder than me and have not yet realized that happiness comes from within. Believe me, I have read articles entitled - Money brings Happiness, Does happiness have a sex?, Is happiness dependent on anything?
Then, came a wise man who introduced himself as Mark Van Doren who concluded that education brought happiness. When he said that, I don't think he would have anticipated that there would be a need for a course to explain happiness to a bunch of students. I reckon he meant when one has got their answers, they feel contented and therefore happy.
University of Pennsylvania, IVY League has released a new postgraduate course. Yes, they have. They have recognized the bleakness of prevailing happiness amongst people, and thus have decided to help them. The course is called Masters in Happiness.
I am wondering how the course structure is going to be. I fear this is more distracting and conflicting. I think so because happiness is not something that can be taught. You can only theoretically but not satisfyingly explain a feeling.
Those who know me well, know that I am on a quest for a spiritual feel. Bishop John Murala explained to me how hard it is to explain how a certain feel is. This is what he said to me, "Ajey, I cannot tell you how you will OR should feel to call it spiritual. It is like asking me to explain to someone the taste of salt when s/he has never tasted it. The best I can do is tell that person to try some salt." Wise words.
I believe technology is to be blamed for this. Not entirely, but at least to a certain extent. People spend so much time on their PSP, PSII, Facebook, even TV and such that they have no idea of reality. I find immense happiness in walking in the rain, watching a ever-beautiful sunrise and sunset (I do this almost everyday), sitting in the garden and looking at the clouds changing shapes and forms, watching sunflowers in my backyard waking up with the sun, watching the river flow, seeing tall mountains, smell of the mud when rain has just fallen, feel of wet grass under your feet, listening to birds chirping, appreciating great architectural work, having a conversation (no, not IM's) and so on. Nature, to me is the best place to find your answers. Nature brings so much peace, contentment and happiness. Regardless of your mood, it fills you with positivity. When we have such a readily available teacher - mother nature, we still consult books. Yes, I reckon these books help us look for things that are skipping our sight. But, the feel can never be explained.
I reckon conspicuously searching for happiness will not lead us there. The instant we question our state of happiness, we put ourselves in a paradox. Mind cannot define every feel that is felt. Feelings cannot fully be explained.
Masters in Happiness, I mean... really?
Photo by Ajey Padival
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