This is my last post for the year 2008. Few hours later, we shall be saying good bye to 2008 and welcoming 2009, wishing each other Happy New Year. So, I feel like writing on happiness. What should we do to be happy? Can happiness be created even though we may not have control over events that happen to us or around us?
No one is happy all the time. We all go through failures, setbacks, frustration that makes us feel low and unhappy. What is important is to be able to come out of such moments as quickly as possible. That is why I believe happiness is an attitude.
Let’s first believe that happiness can be created, if not always but most of the times. A two-pronged approach will help in developing an attitude of creating happiness.
First, do things that make you happy. I used to enjoy playing Cricket with my friends. Even when we finished college and started working, we used to find time to play on weekends. It kept us in touch with each other, and made us all happy. Then, life took friends to different places, making it difficult for us to meet so regularly. Now I play with my children and their friends on weekends. A short game with them gives me the same amount of pleasure as it does to them. This is just one example. We can pursue a hobby, learn a new skill, read a book or watch a movie to make us happy. Make a list of things that make you happy, and find time to do them. This could be one of your new year’s resolutions.
Second, find your happiness in happiness of others. Ask yourself: What can I do today to make someone happy? Just look around and see people in your surroundings. You don’t have to do big things. Small acts like spending time with a lonely or elderly person will bring cheers to both. Buying gifts for those who generally don’t get gifts will do wonders to your spirits. One of my friends told me that he visits hospitals whenever he has the time to meet with poor patients who are admitted there. He spends time with them, buys them fruits and medicines. He says, “ the day I do this, I feel so happy with myself. I look forward to my next visit to them”. Through our small acts, we can help people, making them as well as ourselves happy.
To conclude, let me share a couplet from a famous Urdu poet:
Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun hi sahi,
Kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaya jaye.
(the mosque is too far from home. So be it.
let’s make a wailing child laugh instead)
Wishing all a very Happy New Year 2009!
S.Mohammad Afsar/Opening doors