The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, March 18, 2001

Be the best edition of yourself
By I.M. Soni

WE are now told that certain pleasure centres in the brain can be activated by passing an electric current through them. Wake up misery-manufactures! Now, you can wire yourself to the paradise of happiness. Happiness does not dwell in the bottle or on wads of currency notes.

It does in acquiring a philosophy of life founded upon the basic values of living. It is a condition of mind. It stems from basic principles of human conduct. He who violates them has no chance of being happy.

A pure life and an adherence to the goodness and excellence of human conduct produce happiness which also generates health and well being. A sun glows inside you.

The rich cannot "buy" happiness. The heart cannot feed on materials, nor affections on luxuries. If wealth could buy happiness, no woman would have slept with her "gardener".

Who has not seen half-naked, semi-starved labourers, men and women, working on construction projects, carrying loads, yet singing joyous songs? Shelley, the English poet rightly said, the soulís joy lies in doing.


Most men rob themselves of happiness by postponing it to a future date. It is because they think that happiness is a destination to arrive at. It is a journey. One must grasp any opportunity to ravish the blessings of life. One must live in the present.

This needs no visits to astrologers, palmists, and others of their ilk. They simply "milk" you by suggesting things which common sense condemns. Yet, you pass out wads of crisp currency notes to "buy" a "hope". They sell "hope" to you.

This needs self-conditioning. It simply substitutes a bad-habit with a good-habit pattern. You require to consider those aspects of your personality that are holding you back, pushing you into distress and disappointment. These have to be thrown out into the limbo. You can emerge a new person. You must also objectively examine why this behaviour-pattern lingered in your life, thus far. Unhappiness is a habit.

Take worry. Blow it out of your life. You plunge into irritations and tensions which blur happiness. It is, therefore, important to understand why you are doing what you are doing. Otherwise, the transformation you seek becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Why do you get a "fit" of unhappiness? Whatís wrong with you? Is it blues? Helplessness? Timidity?

If you are successful in pinning down the causes, it becomes easy for you to shed the dark mantle of gloomandbloom!

It is customary now that one must convert abilities into cash. Do it by all means. To get good money, untold men have done that getting nowhere near happiness. Millions have strangled their ability to be happy in the craze for minting money.

About Mr K. People say: "He has plenty of money, a palatial house, a fleet of car and a beautiful wife. Yet, he is unhappy." He runs a posh restaurant-cum-bar.

He goes seeking amulets in search of happiness. The money at his disposal is of no avail as it is used to multiply it. All means, fair or foul are fair to him. But when you look at his love-life, it is a total disaster.

Others who have relieved by compassion or money, the sorrow of the fellow-beings have found happiness which accumulation of wealth, food or gratification of carnal desires could not provide.

Happiness is closely allied to action. A life of inactivity is the life of putrefaction. Action is the glorious principle of life and the only one that saves us from stagnation and unhappiness. Motivated by a noble purpose, it expresses the highest in the human beings. The grand edifice of civilisation is an eloquent testimony to it. Monuments of civilisation are the product of hard work.

Idleness is the refuge of feeble minds. It creates misery. It cannot afford that feeling of well-being which springs from active participation of lifeís activities. Action in life is as essential as time-keeping is to a watch.

Action is invigorating like a tonic. There is no happiness like the one which stems from the use of faculties, physical or mental. Health and happiness have numerous enemies ó worry is one and in the front-line. Tragically, it "stimulates" the morbid and the miserable.

A professor of psychology says, "The solution to this problems does not lie in pushing worry under the dusty durree in your house. It does in making non-worrying as exciting and huggable. Your purpose is to enjoy life, not suffer it."

Some suggestions
Go back into your past. Pin-point the "misery" points. Try to get rid of them. It is not difficult but the difficult part is identifying them. (Theft for example). You committed a theft in your younger days. You did not know it was immoral and wrong. But, now, you know it yourself. Own it. Unhappiness springing from this source will vanish.

Tension and allied factors are signals. Learn to recognise them. When they come, tell yourself that these are not permanent, but only connected with a momentary situation. The moment that situation disappears, even the unhappiness factor disappears.

Often, you find yourself depressed. Chaudhary took long leave from office as he thought he was deep in the blues.

When I asked him the reason whether it was financial, emotional or official, he evaded the answer saying: "I am in depression."

One thing should be clearly understood. Depression is just another name for self-dislike, or disrespect. It is not that others bother you, it is often you own self. Address you inner self, and see the results.

Happiness is "giving". Mothers give, rich do and others who are charitably disposed. True, some may do it with a "motive." But most do it because "giving" is happiness.

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