THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF HAPPINESS

As I watched a program on TV the other day, I started wondering if that world they were showing was the actual world, the one that we have to accept; what for dreamers is followed by a phrase like “you need to face reality.” So I started wondering: do I really have to accept things as they are?
What does “our reality” come from? Isn´t it the result of history and decisions made through our existence? Therefore, if it was we who made this version of the world, filled with cruelty, injustice, and hollow goals, wouldn´t it be in our hands to make it better and accept another reality?
I couldn´t help but thinking, are the people who produce this tv program aware of the influence on the viewers, and if they were, why would they be so light-minded that they didn´t care about the damage they could cause to a whole generation?
What is the point of creating shallow people in every possible way, starting from the attempt to complete a part of a person with material things, and the worst part, the constant using of people for shallow satisfaction? To make it a bit worse, however, in the dialogue they would talk about their actions as if they were completely logical, and therefore correct.
As I continued watching TV, I realized that most of the shows were selling that life style of being rich, shallow and using as many people as they could to satisfy themselves, and that this is the new idea of happiness. What can a teenager who is in a stage of understanding himself/herself, as well as life, get from this? Perhaps the belief that life is about trying to satisfy our immediate desires, and the saddest part, that no type of love is accepted in “the coolest lifestyle anyone could have.” What is the big fear of adding love to this image? Contradiction, I guess.
I started wondering then about the little time people take these days to analyze life, and to understand the meaning of happiness; everyone is so busy all the time, and there is so little time to wonder, wonder about the “life” that surrounds them.
As I think of this, I cannot help but remember one of the classes during the Track A training for the World Youth Alliance, where the speaker they invited to help us understand some philosophy explained the greatness of the relationship between two people, and how it is that when we touch a person we are not only touching their body, but we are touching their essence.
At that moment we are touching a person, the incredibly mysterious being that lives within that body, and how wonderful it is that we will never be able to understand them completely; in a way, we have the opportunity to continue marveling with that greatness indefinitely.
Then, having the unique opportunity that no other living being has, the opportunity to find a type of happiness so deep and fulfilling, the opportunity to choose above instinct, why do we insist on acting like mere animals that eat when they are hungry, sleep when they feel lazy, have sex when their body asks them to, no matter who the other person is, and fight to see who´s stronger and gets the bigger territory? When did we become this lazy that we do not feel like acting above these animal desires to only get our nearest satisfaction?
I wonder what could happen if more and more people started to realize the amazing chance of living and choosing the life we want to live, the infinite number of paths to transcendence and the size of the reward we could get for living a life of self-giving, of helping every person that we can in our way and knowing that through them our existence will be a bit longer and our happiness a bit more overwhelming.
Maybe if we could understand this in ourselves, this admiration for human life, we would want
other people to realize it as well. Unfortunately, in my experience I´ve noticed that many people, more than I would like to admit, don´t understand this. Or better said, they don´t want to understand it, because maybe they would have to try to have an exceptional life, and this requires a big effort.
In my case, when I realized this I started to have an even bigger respect and love for people, since I could understand that the greatness I found in myself was in every person around me. Every person became the greatest piece of art, perhaps that was not yet finished, which could only make it a bit more interesting to stay and watch for the final result.
And I guess responsibility came after: how selfish would I be if I kept this revelation and all the new-found happiness to myself? That, I believe, is not a decision we can make, it is an obligation.

Only then may we find balance, only when people who were blessed with an enormous amount of love start giving it to the least blessed people, could the purpose of life be complete. The biggest prize goes to us, for we get to live within someone else.

I invite to whoever reads this to make an experiment. I was told once that if you repeat the same action for 21 days, without missing a day, your brain recognizes it in a way that it becomes a habit you start living with, so I invite you to help a person for 21 days, in a big or a small way, if only with a smile or your time, and it could become a habit and eventually a virtue. Imagine now by the end of your life how many people could be a bit happier because of you, if every day of your life you touched someone else’s. I cannot think of a better way to achieve real happiness.
Article by Jessica Baptista
Queretaro, October 30th, 2010