Exactly 11,323 days have passed since the day I was born. Who knows how many more days I have for the rest of my life?
To think back and reminisce on the bygone days can give you two kinds of feelings. Either you feel nostalgic, and in that case, you want to recreate such memories. Or you feel anger and resentment, in which case, you would just avoid thinking about such memories. We humans have a tendency to either keep looking back or looking further down the road. We are hardly the kind of people who live in the present moment. But to be able to live in the present moment means that you are very lucky. It means that you have lived a sufficiently good life, and that you also do not have to worry so much about your future, because you are currently in a comfortable position in your life. It is the people who are living in poor financial conditions or in terrible life situations, who will be living either in the past or worrying about the future. It means, that if you are ever the kind of person who can live in this present moment, then you are indeed lucky.
Today, very few people live in the present moment. When I say ‘a few people’, I actually mean a few millions of people compared to the world population. Such people often give an advise to the rest of us, that ‘happiness must come from within’, or something along the lines of being content with what you have. Of course, such statements are ambitious pronouncements that sound really good to hear. But I find it problematic.
You see, how do you define “happiness”, when it differs from person to person? If say, I define “happiness”, as a “state of mind that is complete in itself and does not desire for anything at all”. For example, for the minute moment when you are enjoying a tub of Rocky Road, you are in a state of mind with complete satisfaction, not desiring anything else in the world. That moment flickers in and out of your mind for just a moment. Nonetheless, it was there and that was “happiness”. A state of desire-less being.
Now imagine you go around telling everyone you meet, that you should not search for happiness outside, but you must search for happiness within yourself. That person will never fully understand what you are talking about! Because that person is eager to achieve his or her dreams. That person wants to soar high and become someone famous. That person has lacked attention since young, probably, and wants to be the center of attention at some point in his or her life. Such a person does not need philosophical pronouncements. Instead, they need to learn how to improve their own economic condition in their homes. They need to understand how life works, and how to deal with the problems life throws at us. Because “happiness must come from within” is a lesson that each and every person must learn themselves. It cannot be taught to someone outrightly. They have to realise this themselves, during the natural course of their lives.
I consider myself lucky in the sense that now I can and I am beginning to understand how happiness must come from within. At the same time, I expect to learn a lot more lessons from this life. The toughest challenge is yet to come, and I mean, dealing life together with a partner in crime. But that is something only time can tell.