गुरुवार, १९ जानेवारी, २०१७

In the pursuit of Happiness..


We look before and after
And pine for what is not
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught
Our sweetest songs are those
That tell of saddest thought..


          Happiness.. such an illusive concept.. We all want it in our lives.. Our definitions or understanding of it may be different.. But we die longing for happiness.. We work for it, we earn for it.. Our every move every action is directed towards achieving something that will make us happy! But the question here is do we really find happiness? Have we ever reached to a point where there is nothing but the pure happiness?
          In childhood our versions of happiness used to be like having colorful pencils or no homework only TV type situations, then as we grew older we thought more marks in the exam means happiness, then having a good job, own house, nice car.. the list continues! Happiness is tied up with our needs. Maslow, the famous American Psychologist, has categorized human needs in six different types and arranged them into hierarchy according to their essentiality in human life.  These categories are Physiological needs, safety needs, love/belonging, esteem, self actualization and self transcendence. First three, according to Maslow are deficiency needs and last three are the productive ones. Physiological needs are the basic human needs that are essential for survival like air, water, food, shelter, clothes etc. safety needs include security.. physical, financial, societal. Then comes the emotional ones, the feeling of belongingness, care, intimacy, family etc. Self esteem is the next need on the hierarchy. Everyone wants to be respected by others. Then comes Self actualization. It is a state that indicates full growth of our personality, knowing our uniqueness and working for excellence in that field. It is something like, if one can do it, he must do it! Exploring all our latent potentials and mastering them is the real state of happiness, fulfillment. Maslow doesn’t stop here, he states self transcendence as the ultimate and final human need. When we attain self actualization, sharing it with the society, the world, using it for the betterment of our people, society, connecting with the world, the cosmos is according to Maslow the state of Self-transcendence and the ultimate state of happiness.
             In our society, people spend half of their lives in fulfilling just the basic and safety needs. Having own house, good amenities, fine educational facilities, for that matter good roads, safe water, better public transport are still the prime concerns of majority of people around us. Emotional needs are the ones, our complex social system likes to censor every now and then. In such a scenario Self-actualization and self-transcendence are, at least for now, very remote concepts. But does this mean that majority in our society are unhappy? No, certainly not. There may be misery, there may be frustration, there may be corrupt practices but there is happiness too! Happiness in the chirping of birds.. happiness in the innocence of children.. happiness in having a cup of coffee with a good book to read.. happiness in doing crazy things that only you can do.. happiness in meeting new people.. happiness in sharing things.. happiness in witnessing a beautiful sunset all alone.. happiness in being yourself.. yes, there is happiness all around us! We just need to have a sight for that. I have seen people luring in wealth and still mourning for happiness. I have seen another set of people having no material reason to be happy for but still they are happy.. just for the sake of being happy.. cherishing what they have rather than mourning for what they don’t. Sometimes, I really wonder what makes them to be happy despite all the miseries they face. It is their lively attitude that makes them happy. Well, We all can have that.. it does not demand high costs.. not even pushes us in the debt of installments. All we need to do is to twist our thinking and look with a broader perspective towards the life. Isn’t it a happy thing that you are you.. you are a part of this amazing thing called Universe. We should live each and every moment to its fullest despite all odds. In the end I would like to share Bill Bryson’s fascinating lines from his book ‘A short History of nearly Everything’,
         “..Congratulations! Getting here wasn’t easy. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize. For you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and curiously obliging manner to create you. It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, co-operative efforts to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally underappreciated state known as existence..”
              So, let’s enjoy this very special thing called existence and be happy for the same..:)

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