I like how diverse our world is. How in one tree you can see endless shades of green. How the sun mischievously plays with the colors. How flowers manage to survive in the most hostile environment, in the harshest weather.
I like how people are like that, too. How one person can be so colorful, and how suddenly, when the sun comes out you can see them in an entirely different light. How people change their colors in accordance with their environment, like chameleons. How some can survive even in the harshest of conditions.
I used to think I’d prefer to be happy and dumb than smart and miserable. And I guess there is some truth to that, because as long as you’re happy, right? Actually, smart and dumb aren’t exactly the right terms. It’s more like aware and unaware. It was just me, in my naivety, who used to call it that.
Anyway, as long as you’re happy, what does it matter that you’re blind to the true colors of those around you, of yourself? As long as you’re happy, what does it matter that you do nothing but sit in front of the television all day?
For a long time, I’ve struggled to find the answer to these questions. In some way, it had to do with my misguided definitions.
Have you ever encountered the book “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, where the government drug the people with a drug that makes them “happy” all the time, dumb and happy, so they would never rebel, keep doing what they’re told?
Well, if happiness is all that matters, then why does it sound so wrong?
They lead the world to destruction, but they’re happy and that’s all that matters, they do as they’re told to without question, but they’re happy. They don’t live, but they’re happy. The thing is, they are not aware anymore. And without awareness, what are we?
What does happiness worth if we don’t know we’re happy? If we’re not aware of it? What does happiness matter when our free will is thrown away? What does happiness mean if we’re not alive? The thing that makes us humans, the thing that differs us from all other beings, is awareness. And without it we might feel joy, but no happiness.
Happiness is more of a continuous state of content. Of knowing that you’re happy with your life. Of not suffering. And while animals can experience joy, happiness, the way I see it, requires an ability to analyze your feelings, ability that other beings that we know of, don’t have. That doesn’t make us anymore worthy of life than they are, but it is in our nature to seek happiness, to seek meaning. And you can’t do that when you’re unaware of your life.
True happiness is not momentary. It’s a profound understanding that you are content with your life. That your life is meaningful and wonderful. In order to be happy, you need to be aware. To appreciate your life, and be grateful for every breath.
Any smart-ass could sit in front of the television and laugh their heart out, and feel tremendous joy, but that doesn’t mean they are happy. Anyone could trip and feel ecstasy, but that’s not happiness, either. Because anyone who does those things without awareness, can tell you about the terrible feeling of the morning after. Because running towards the unawareness is usually an escape from the emptiness of your life.
Life can become truly marvelous when you open your eyes to the true colors of the world, to the true colors of people of lives. When you notice every change, when you look for the good in everything. Including yourself!
Life is a gift. Cherish it. Don’t spend your life waiting, live for the moment!
Because when you finally open your eyes and see the world for what it is, wonderful things are going to come your way.
Be grateful for every day, hour, minute. Be thankful for everything you have right now, because you don’t need to wait for the things you love to go away in order to realize how much they mean to you. The key to happiness is gratefulness.