A radio jockey once had a millionaire as his guest. He asked him, “What made you most happy in life?” The millionaire said, “I have gone through four stages in life to finally discover the true happiness.
The first stage was to accumulate wealth and means. But at this stage I did not get the happiness.
The second stage was of collecting valuable items. But I realized that the effect of this is also temporary and the lustre of valuable things didn’t last long.
The third stage was of getting big projects. Like buying a football team, buying a tourist resort, etc. But even here I did not get the happiness, which I had imagined.
The fourth stage came when a friend of mine asked me to buy wheelchairs for disabled. My friend insisted that I accompany him to hand over the wheelchairs to the disabled children. As I did that, I saw the strange glow of happiness on the faces. I saw them all sitting on chairs, moving around and having fun. One of the kids grabbed my legs while I was leaving the place. I gently tried to free my legs but the child stared at my face. I bent down and asked the child: Do you need anything else?
The answer of the child not only made me happy but also changed my life completely. The child said “I want to remember your face so that when I meet you in heaven, I will be able to recognize you and thank you once again.”
This story is about a rich man’s pursuit to happiness. This reiterates and confirms the research on happiness conducted by Richard Davidson, the neuroscientist, which I briefly captured in my previous post.
The acts of generosity, whether small or big, make us happy.
Research has also shown that poor people do more charity than the rich. No wonder they are happier. They don’t discover happiness at the fourth stage.
You don’t have to be rich to be generous. Do whatever you can. If you can’t donate a wheel chair, buy a meal to someone. If that is also not possible, just speak nicely to someone and make him/her feel good.