Recap Thursday- Synthesizing Happiness?

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This past week has been so boringly mundane that it would be a waste to dedicate an entire blog post to it. Nothing dramatic or spectacular came about. All the holiday excitement sort of fizzled out and normality took over with gusto. Ramadan already seems like a distant memory. But life- changes are in store. Possibly big ones….

Though uneventful, last week was an introspective one. Gloomy even; with no particular rhyme or reason for the glumness. The hot, dusty, muggy weather contributed to the dullness of mind. Runs are harder in this weather. And I do not have a gym membership yet.  The lack of exercise therefore exacerbated matters. Thoughts seem rusty and veer toward the dark.  Even when everything seems to be in order, the waters are turbid.

We are all in constant pursuit of happiness. Most of us equate fulfilment of desires to happiness. A loving family, a gratifying career, a beautiful home to call ones’ own, a much-fancied car or a coveted piece of jewellery, a hard earned award…… whatever it is that you desire….. Will it make you happy?

If so, then why do I meet people who seem to have everything going for them, and are yet unhappy? Miserable even.

Then why are there people, who have seemingly hard, turmoil ridden lives who are happy. Content.

Is happiness an externally/ situational/ circumstantially- independent state of mind that one is born with. Can we learn to be happy? Are some people more prone to being happy? Will some people be forever damned in the bowels of misery and unhappiness?

Dan Gilbert in his book ‘Stumbling On Happiness’ claims that it is possible to be truly happy even when things don’t go the way we want them to or planned. Well, if that is the case can someone please find out how one can be happy. Can it be synthesised in our own brains as Dan Glibert proposes? Can it be taught? Is “synthetic” happiness equal in feeling and magnitude to “real” happiness?

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I leave you with words from one my favourite authors. He seemed to have interpreted joy and sorrow far better than us mere mortals.

On Joy and Sorrow
 -Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. 

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Maybe Dan Gilbert and Kahlil Gibran are both trying to convey the same message. Maybe we are the key to our own happiness.

If only I could find mine in the gigantic haystack that my head is!

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Till next time…

Dr J.

 

P.S. Please do tell me if you  are a “naturally” happy person…and do share your secret! Comment below….

2 Comments

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  1. Loved the poem by khalil gibran.. Though I don’t always see eye to eye with him. And you’re totally right. This week has been very melancholic. Must be the post holiday effect.

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