Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Of Happiness and "Happons"


I just attended the last leg of lectures for this semester. My macroeconomics prof was explaining to us about shifts in the concepts of the Production Possibility Curve. While explaining the different combination of products that could be manufactured, his discussion moved to which combination is more prosperous, thereby making the economy happier. In order to make it easier, he told us to assume that happiness could be measured in terms of "happons".

Later I began thinking about what is happiness. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am becoming slightly disillusioned with the idea of worldly success. Oh yes, graduating top of the class and getting a top job that gives you a six figure salary is indeed a good idea. Not that I wouldn't want that, of course! It's just that am wondering if that is what happiness is all about? Surely there is more to it?

Like all other things, they also come to an end one day. In our tradition, after prayers, we have a custom of wearing holy ash (vibhuti) on the forehead. Just to remind ourselves that everything will perish one day. Fame and friends, kith and kin, wealth and riches... simply everything. I realize that this does sound pessimistic. But then how can we be happy with our existence in such a temporary world, where everything is teased by cruel maya? I think the key to this issue is to just remain happy throughout, regardless of the circumstances. Abandon this mad chase for something that you believe will bring you happiness.

I think we should just learn to let go. Not think about achieving happiness. Instead spend every moment believing that you are indeed happy. I recollect an incident where I forgot to wish my uncle on his birthday. So the next day I called him and apologized for missing his birthday. He said, "Every day is a celebration! So why apologize?". (Vasantha valiacha, if you're reading this, I want you to know that I truly cherish that conversation :)) Thus the moment is now, I guess. Just be happy, wherever you are, whatever situation. Life's so short anyway. It doesn't make much sense to do anything else, haha!

3 comments:

  1. Yes Sruthi, You are very right. Just live for the day and cherish every moment of it. If we all can have this kind of understanding and an outlook to life, the entire world will be a better place to live!! This reminds me of an impromptu speech given by you exactly seven years ago at The Indian school, Bahrain where you spoke about happiness. Happiness is like a butterfly which when we pursued is beyond our reach, but when we sit down quietly it will come and sit softly on the shoulder and whisper, hey 'how are you'? So let's live for this moment and leave our egos and hatred and all our negativism and be happy and friendly with all and make this world a better place to live in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi KS,

    Very true... Happiness should not be measured in terms of our possessions. Happiness is that state of mind you have acquired when you look at a prized possession that has fallen down and broken into zilion pieces and shrug away the sadness with the realisation that it was good while it lasted...

    ReplyDelete
  3. yes there's more to happiness. A great person by the name of Narayanan Krishnan has literally provd that

    ReplyDelete

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Of Happiness and "Happons"


I just attended the last leg of lectures for this semester. My macroeconomics prof was explaining to us about shifts in the concepts of the Production Possibility Curve. While explaining the different combination of products that could be manufactured, his discussion moved to which combination is more prosperous, thereby making the economy happier. In order to make it easier, he told us to assume that happiness could be measured in terms of "happons".

Later I began thinking about what is happiness. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am becoming slightly disillusioned with the idea of worldly success. Oh yes, graduating top of the class and getting a top job that gives you a six figure salary is indeed a good idea. Not that I wouldn't want that, of course! It's just that am wondering if that is what happiness is all about? Surely there is more to it?

Like all other things, they also come to an end one day. In our tradition, after prayers, we have a custom of wearing holy ash (vibhuti) on the forehead. Just to remind ourselves that everything will perish one day. Fame and friends, kith and kin, wealth and riches... simply everything. I realize that this does sound pessimistic. But then how can we be happy with our existence in such a temporary world, where everything is teased by cruel maya? I think the key to this issue is to just remain happy throughout, regardless of the circumstances. Abandon this mad chase for something that you believe will bring you happiness.

I think we should just learn to let go. Not think about achieving happiness. Instead spend every moment believing that you are indeed happy. I recollect an incident where I forgot to wish my uncle on his birthday. So the next day I called him and apologized for missing his birthday. He said, "Every day is a celebration! So why apologize?". (Vasantha valiacha, if you're reading this, I want you to know that I truly cherish that conversation :)) Thus the moment is now, I guess. Just be happy, wherever you are, whatever situation. Life's so short anyway. It doesn't make much sense to do anything else, haha!

3 comments:

  1. Yes Sruthi, You are very right. Just live for the day and cherish every moment of it. If we all can have this kind of understanding and an outlook to life, the entire world will be a better place to live!! This reminds me of an impromptu speech given by you exactly seven years ago at The Indian school, Bahrain where you spoke about happiness. Happiness is like a butterfly which when we pursued is beyond our reach, but when we sit down quietly it will come and sit softly on the shoulder and whisper, hey 'how are you'? So let's live for this moment and leave our egos and hatred and all our negativism and be happy and friendly with all and make this world a better place to live in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi KS,

    Very true... Happiness should not be measured in terms of our possessions. Happiness is that state of mind you have acquired when you look at a prized possession that has fallen down and broken into zilion pieces and shrug away the sadness with the realisation that it was good while it lasted...

    ReplyDelete
  3. yes there's more to happiness. A great person by the name of Narayanan Krishnan has literally provd that

    ReplyDelete