WRITTEN BY DS
Here is another long overdue “inspired by Sumiko Tan” blog entry.
In her 13 Nov 2011 article, she declared that she was truly happy! Well, that’s really something to cheer about. Although her happiness was about the absence of pain, I wonder if it was her statement that she has found love and have a job she liked being the main reasons? Of course having a job she liked is very important, but we all know that this previously arguably Singapore’s most famous single damsel had this same job all the time and still had been musing on the lack of happiness so I suppose that narrows down the reason to that she has “found love”! Wow, it is still hard to believe that she ‘made’ it to the married club (not that she wasn’t good but that she was lucky to find someone this late) but what a change for the better. Just as well then, to get inspiration for a follow-up on my two previous entries “Multiply and Replenish the Earth” and “Pursuit of Happiness”.
Sumiko’s articles should be more than enough for those wanting to read more about singlehood and married life so there isn’t more for an amateur/novice like me to add here. I had bought a book “Singled Out” by Bella DePaulo to read more about singlehood (but haven’t read it yet as so many books and so little time to read!) but not sure when I read it, it would mean much now. But I suppose Bella must have a treasure of truths in the book to learn from. With more prominence on the subject of happiness in Singapore recently, I think Sumiko makes a good case study on this subject. Seems that “all we need is love” is not too far-fetched? And the quote by John Lennon on making happiness the number one priority in life (“the key to life”) sounds even more convincing. Just as well that the author of Ecclesiastes 3:12 (in the Bible) mentioned that “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live”.
Ok, that was a narrow and specific aspect of happiness. So, what should we do to achieve real happiness? In Buddhism, it is believed that the root cause of all sufferings, ie unhappiness, is desire or craving. Get rid of it and you get rid of unhappiness. Sounds easy, except that having your desires or wishes granted is the basis of happiness, so getting rid of desires is tantamount to getting rid of happiness, so that isn’t really a solution technically, as it means getting rid of the problem is the solution to the problem! I mean we can’t say the solution to a sickness is to not to have a sickness, right?
The apparent straightforward solution may appear to be just to do the things that make you happy and get rid of the things that make you unhappy, but again this is easier said than done as many things in life are beyond our control. I suppose nobody has a concrete solution to this difficult challenge in life, and I would venture just two points on the subject. As alluded above, there are many things in life that are beyond our control, and I think one of the root causes of unhappiness is trying to control them. And the second cause is worrying too much over them. Worrying in life, is an absolutely useless human emotion as it doesn’t achieved anything at all, but somehow just too many people are unable to avoid this trap. No wonder Jesus himself had to advise us in Luke 12:22 to “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear”. Again, easier said than done, but I really agree that giving up worrying will give us happiness, and to go along with it, to let “whatever will be, will be” (ie Que Sera Sera). These shall be my 2 tricks of happiness (before that, presumably we are already doing what we like and doing what is right in our lives). Why are they tricks? Because they are so hard for the mind to accept, so might as well trick it ! And then go forth and rejoice 🙂