TOPICS:Happiness for all

After she had read my poem on the subject of happiness, a woman from London sent me an email. She wrote, “I have forwarded your poem to my boyfriend, I want him to read it.” As much as she loved him, she revealed, it wasn’t mentally salubrious to share an emotional bond with someone so pessimistic and captious. As a blessing in disguise, this woman’s email enabled me to draft my feelings into words what I had been searching for — rationale for taking happiness seriously.

Almost all of us have images of how life should be but we neglect the art of living - of making the best of everything and living joyfully. In reality, we overlook the smiling flowers but concentrate on their toxic effects instead. Such is the state of our mind, akin to the state of our society - we are lured by the negativity. This leads us to remark, in passing, that in the contemporary Nepal we are not sufficiently instructed in the Art of Living.

We assume that happiness is a feeling that comes as a result of good things that just happen to us by default. Happiness means enjoying the little pleasures scattered along the common path of life.

As a poet, I’ve spent years studying and writing poems about happiness, and one of the most significant conclusions I’ve drawn is this: there is a little correlation between the circumstances of people’s lives and their happiness. There are people who have had a relatively easy life yet are unhappy and there are people who have suffered a lot but are generally happy.

Why is it so? Perhaps, the first secret may be gratitude or the lack of it. All happy people have a advantage over something — they are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy.

The second secret is realizing that happiness is a by product of something else that gives our lives purpose - the more passions we have, the more happiness we’re likely to experience. The third secret is, the belief that we are not born for ourselves only and that our existence has some larger meaning can help us to be happier.

Finally, the art of happiness may be summed up in the words - make the best of everything and every moment. Cultivate the art of making the most of the common means and appliances for enjoyment, which lie about us on every side and link time to eternity - where the true Art of Living has its final consummation.