by Kowthar A. Yabarow
Monday, August 24, 2015
With everything going on in today’s world, all the differences we may all have, there’s one thing that everyone in this world has in common, the search for happiness.
It wasn't long ago, when I came across poverty-stricken individuals at the shopping center across from my home that completely altered the perception of happiness in today's world. This lady and her son wore this gentle, genuine smile. The type of smile that instantly gave the impression that they were "happy" and based on today's recipe of happiness, I couldn't understand why. She proceeded to ask for money with the shyest of voices afraid her son would hear her.
But on that day it was more than just searching for money in my purse, I was also searching for answers. The question is, how many people in the world can really say they're happy? And like most people today, a simple recipe of possession measures their happiness; so ultimately the more you have, the happier you believe you are.
But for me happiness has always been different. I didn't know why it was different, I just knew it was. So under the guidance of my faith, I was able to set a recipe for what I believed was the cause for my happiness, consisting of three main ingredients:
1. The art of living
2. Not having any anxiety for the future
3. And not having any grief of the past
Ingredient number 1 –
Notice in today's world, the art of numbing has been professionalized. It seems as though more and more individuals are getting use to the thought of numbing reality. They're getting use to carrying life out like a set of instructions. It's easier for them to wake up every day, follow a routine, hate the weekdays, only to look forward to the weekends, all just to re-do it. And for some, happiness is deeply hidden in the particles of sand, or perhaps going for getaways. As for others, happiness could come in the form of drugs, so that for a second, just for a split second, all of life’s shackles may feel like a blur.
Sure it’s easier to block out reality but the question is, for how long? How long before reality sets back in? How long before drugs wear off and what felt like a blur becomes the focus? How long before you realize that getaways are not going to get you away from hardships and that eventually you will have to face them? How long before we turn the art of numbing into the art of living.
Ingredient number 2 –
Most people plan so much because there's anticipation for the future. It's 2015, and let's be honest, trying to control your life may seem easier than letting it play out. Every phone call, every car ride, every step taken is carefully planned out. And once something does not occur in accordance to their plans, they feel as though their train has derailed. Depression sinks in and grievances are sparked by a lack of understanding. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't plan our lives. It simply means that if something doesn't occur in accordance to our plans, our train has not derailed. It may have slowed down. It may have been re-routed into tunnels of darkness. It may very well be leading you somewhere you could not have imagined. But it certainly has not derailed.
Ingredient number 3 –
To lose in life is to grieve over the past. It’s to grieve over something that cannot be changed, that cannot be fixed, and cannot be relived. The past is there to be a lesson. It's there to make you a better person, and it's there to be used as a reference of what you need to change and what you should keep the same. The past may even contain great memories. But to reminisce over them will not take back the hands of time. Use that time instead to make new memories, and if your past is full of mistakes, then remember them only to improve your future because to grieve over the past is to stand still in life, and how great of a loss would it be, to let a lesson become your lifetime.
These ingredients fall under the umbrella of having trust, in that life will play out according to The Best of all Planners, God. A recipe that has taught me to take life as it comes and to appreciate the twenty-four hours we have in a day. It has taught me never to spend a second of my future worrying about the second I lost in the past.
And so five minutes gave me enough time to know that this woman lost her job and her home, and that her son was twelve. I told her I hope you find your way, and she said, "By the will of God, I know we will be fine".
So to that lady and her son, your smiles have helped me understand what millionaires seek in wealth, and what celebrities seek in fame. The confidence in your voice has reassured me that happiness was never about the worldly gains or the possession of things, but that it’s a feeling given to us by the Source of all happiness, God.
Kowthar A. Yabarow
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