The issue of happiness is a global topic and a real concern to many. All through the ages of human existence on earth; people from all over the world have always searched for happiness. The reason is that life on earth; without true happiness is a meaningless and empty one.
Unfortunately, due to several factors in society; finding happiness in the world, especially in the present world, is almost an illusion to so many people. They try all they can to obtain happiness, but it is far from them. This has nothing to do with religion, race, sex, status, or any other human or social identifications. The plain fact is that there are certain things that are common to all human race, no matter who they are, or where there live.
In this post, I want to share with my readers; the fact that happiness is more of a choice; than social status or achievements. It has more to do with what we do or fail to do. In essence, money, wealth, fame, or what have you; may not necessarily guarantee happiness, if we don’t do what is expected of us. That is why despite riches, positions, or acquisitions, ‘‘the rich also cry’’. That is to show us that these mundane things. don’t actually guarantee true happiness.
Be that as it may, the rich, the famous and the educated, from all over the world; also suffer from the lack of happiness. That is how it is in real life. If the average rich man, celebrities, top-notch politicians and highly successful people; will open up to you; you will understand how empty and unfulfilled they feel and how hollow their hearts are.
The question then is; what is happiness and where or how can it be found? These are the very questions that I want to address in this piece. First and foremost, let me state categorically, that true happiness is not found in how much you have or don’t have. I have seen many people who have much and yet, are not happy at all. I have also seen so many people, who have little and are very happy. The difference is the attitude of the individual, towards what he has and where he is at any given time.
Those who have much and continue to crave for more, without having the time to appreciate what they already have, or where they are, can never be happy. They continue to pursue and gather what they don’t actually need and end up hurting themselves; because that is not the original purpose of life. On the other hand, those who take the time to pause and ‘count their blessings’; will be rewarded with happiness. That is part of the laws of nature that many people ignorantly or knowingly disregard; to their undoing and consequently their eventual unhappiness.
Therefore; those who seek true happiness; should embrace the fact that happiness can only be obtained, if one follows natural and spiritual laws; which are designed and integrated into the organized cosmic systems, to control the affairs of life on earth, by the creator. What I am saying in essence; is that there are laws that govern the universe; which also determine the consequences or results, of our actions or inactions. What we do or don’t do, can go a long way to determining the eventual outcomes of our lives. These are parts of the inexorable laws of nature; with their short and long-term consequences.
In view of the foregoing; I would like to talk a little more about these all-important laws and principles; which the majority of people, are always ignoring, with their eventual unhappy outcomes. It is important for one to have an open and teachable spirit; if one really wants to get the best in this life; especially as far as true happiness is concerned. Without boring you with long preambles; here are some of the principles that you shouldn’t ignore, or undermine if you truly seek happiness in this vain and ephemeral life.
No matter where you are, or what you have; it is of vital importance, for you to maintain a heart of gratitude at all times. This helps to invigorate your life and boost your natural abilities for survival. Gratitude has some secret emotional and psychological rewards that enable one to live peacefully; without the unnecessary stress induced by its absence. What I mean by this, is that the attitude of gratitude helps one to be calm, objective and constructive in one’s actions. It helps to build the positive spirit that aids the normal functioning of the human body, naturally.
This state of mind, actually promotes happiness, because the individual will be at ease at all times, with this mindset. It is like realizing that what one has, or can do, is actually by grace; or through the benevolence and support of the unseen forces of nature. It therefore, helps the individual to do his best; while trusting the benevolence of nature for necessary support. This is a humble attitude that makes one, less dependent, solely on one’s abilities or actions. It is actually a major ingredient in the natural mixtures that produce happiness. That takes us to the next point.
Pride and arrogance are twin qualities that the laws of nature constantly frown at. No matter where or what time they are exhibited, the natural response and consequences could be the same. There is no true religion in the world, that approves or promotes these ugly qualities; which most of the time are inherent in the fallen human nature. It is so ugly and despicable that a wise man once said that:
‘‘Pride is the only disease known to man; that makes everyone sick; except the person that has it’’. - Anonymous
From this philosophical statement; one can really see how negative pride or arrogance can be. It should be clear and understandable that; it may not be easy to get such a positive gift of nature as happiness; from ugly attitudes like pride and arrogance. They don’t work together, in the school of nature and spirituality.
In view of this, it is important to trim one’s excesses and ego. There is no need to carry yourself around as if you are a ‘god’ and oppressing people. And even if you are; you still have to learn from the Almighty Creator, who despite his greatness, still allows human beings to have their ways. He can do whatever he wants, but he doesn’t arbitrarily misuse his power. That is one quality and character that distinguishes him, as God Almighty.
It takes a humble attitude to develop a positive and acceptable spirituality. Be that as it may, anyone seeking true happiness; should never forget to cultivate this special virtue that can never be ignored where ever it is displayed. It helps to develop an even temper, where others are agitated and standing on edge. It is very considerate, tolerant and submissive. It promotes inner peacefulness; because it knows its worth and is not contending with anyone.
Humble people can endure insults, maltreatments, relegation, humiliation, deprivation, or any other form of negative attitude from others. They know who they are and find solace in that, even in the face of adversities. So, they don’t look for approval from other people. This strong, level-headed, secure mindset; is a great promoter of unusual happiness. It can only come through humility - submitting oneself to the creator and to humanity as well.
Another word for patience is endurance. You can equally describe it as; long-suffering, or the ability to wait for a long time. This is a virtuous quality that is missing in so many lives; in our fast-paced world of today. Unfortunately, its absence has caused a lot of tensions, misunderstanding, quarrels, fighting, separation, divorce and other forms of negative experiences.
From all indications, we know that none of the above-mentioned conditions; can generate happiness for anyone. It therefore, becomes imperative; that those who seek happiness in the real sense of it; should pursue and cultivate this quality called patience. Its reward in any sphere of human relations; cannot be quantified. Patience will help the possessor to tolerate and endure many things, that others can’t. an
This will create an atmosphere for better understanding and cooperation in most cases. With this, you will discover that some of those things, that generate unnecessary tensions in relationships, will be curtailed or eliminated. This applies virtually, in every aspect of human interaction; be it business, social, marital, or otherwise. Patience is a major key to avoiding unnecessary conflicts, which undermine positive human relations and the happiness we all seek.
Anyone looking for true happiness, should appreciate the value of patience in any relationships and transactions. The world, despite acclaimed civilization, technological advancements and the abundance of natural and materials resources, is still plagued with pains and unhappiness, which is evidence that something is really wrong with the average human being.
Nevertheless, those who change their attitude towards life and cultivate the virtues that nature instituted for happiness, will fare better than others. Patience is undoubtedly one of those virtues that we are talking about here. Like I said earlier, happiness is not just a product of what you have or where you live. Beyond that, it is the result of how you treat others and respond to things around you. Patience is one special factor to consider along this line. Let’s look at another related factor for true happiness.
Kindness is the act of treating people nicely, no matter who they are. It is the expression of love and concern to those around you. It entails caring for those who need your help or assistance in any given situation. When we show kindness to people, we extend the love of God to them and add value to their lives, thereby increasing the value they place on life.
In return for this, we harvest the joy of doing good, which is a good reward or compensation, pre-designed by the creator, for good works. It should be worth mentioning that, life on earth, is both physical and spiritual. Further to that, it may even interest you to know that the spiritual controls the physical; because it is stronger. That is why the spiritual laws dictate the consequences of our physical lives.
Care must be taken, not to get carried away by the physical activities that we engage in disregard of the spiritual. And even if we ignore them or don’t believe that such laws and operations exist, we still cannot escape the attendant fruits or consequences of our actions. The mysterious and undeniable operations of these laws, set in motion at the creation of the world, will not spare anyone who undermines or violates them.
There is no way you can treat people anyhow and expect life to give you all the happiness you are looking for. It doesn’t work that way, because the wise creator of the world designed it to function differently. You really need to understand that, being kind to people, will greatly promote your personal happiness. I may not be able to convincingly prove to you how that works, but in the realities of life; that is just how it is.
For instance, we feel special and happy each time we do good to people. Is that not right? Conversely, we feel guilty and unhappy whenever we treat people roughly; or do the wrong things. That is how it is under normal circumstances. The reason is that some things that are higher and hard to understand, have been programmed by the Creator, into the earth, to respond to the acts of kindness or wickedness that we demonstrate at any time.
So, without the consciousness of many, there is ‘a rewards system’ that has been programmed from the beginning of the world, which is still being enforced and controlled from the unseen realm. Kindness is one of such acts, that attract the reward of happiness at any time, no matter where we are; or who we show it to. This is a practical reality that shouldn’t be ignored by seekers of true happiness.
In a subsequent post, which is a continuation of this series, we shall examine other factors that can guarantee true happiness in an unhappy world. Meanwhile, in keeping with our crusade for a ‘Better Life For All’; we challenge you to review your attitudes towards life in general, especially towards other people. This could do you a lot of emotional and spiritual good. Also bear in mind that; ‘‘When you make other people happy, you become a happier person’’.
TOPIC: SEARCHING FOR TRUE HAPPINESS IN AN UNHAPPY WORLD.
By Andrew Bright Ikeogwu