How We Are Working Hard Towards Losing Happiness
In today’s digital era we click and store 1000s of photographs but hardly revisit them unlike the past when we had albums for every occasion and holiday. One Sunday afternoon at home, I came across one such album while cleaning my study. It had photographs of my childhood, my daughters’ childhood and some recent ones. It brought back a flood of memories. I noticed that even though I donned a big smile in my recent photographs they were not as genuine and naturally cheerful as my childhood pictures. That evening I met some of my friends with whom I shared this and they agreed that they felt the same. We were all much happier as kids.
When you were a kid what did you want to get happy? In majority of the cases, by now you would have much more than what you desired. But are you happy? Isn’t it ironical that when we had nothing we were so happy and as we grow older and acquire more and more things, we actually become increasingly unsatisfied and sad? ‘If only we could be a little happier, life could be so much better’ - this is the constant pursuit.
Live in the Moment
The other day I was looking at some children playing in a park and how they behaved. The first thing I noticed is that when a child is doing something they are fully engrossed in it without a care for anything else in the world. Neither were they thinking about the past or the future. As adults we tend to live in the past or our dreams of a happier future. How do we stay happy if we are not aware of the present moment?
Have Faith and Stay Fearless
When I spoke to these children they had complete faith in their parents and their ability. They didn’t seem to be worried about what is going to happen tomorrow. Neither were they bothered about what they had done a couple of hours back. The complete lack of fear for what the future has in store for them was an amazing observation for me. As adults we think everyone is out there to hurt us and has ill intents if they are being nice. Can we be happy if we live in constant fear?
Move on over Mistakes
Even if these children made a mistake they didn’t stay guilty for far too long. They did feel bad for a short period of time but as soon as a new thing distracted them they were completely over the guilt or the feeling of negativity. We should learn to move on over mistakes, those of ours as well as others.
Have no Hang-ups
Children get angry, furious even, if they don’t get what they want. They fight with their friends as if they will kill each other the next moment. But after a couple of hours you will see them together, playing and roaming around like they never fought. Their concept of hatred and distrust is transient.
We all live in constant fear of the future, stress, guilt and constant pursuit of a better life. We carry hatred for people we love because of trivial issues. We are suspicious of the people around us. We stay upset with our loved ones for years. We have accumulated so much negativity in our lives and we wish to stay happy. How is that possible? As kids we would lose this negativity so easily but why has it become so difficult now? We tell kids that you should learn from us adults but in fact we have a lot to learn from them. I strongly recommend that we look beyond self-help books, apps or ‘Chief Happiness Officers’ to teach us how to be happy. May be the phrase ‘The child is father of the man’ had a more profound meaning after all and perhaps the time has come for us to retreat to those simple joys of childhood and learn a lot from children.