Sunday, January 21, 2007

The happiness theory...

In "illusions", there's a bit that goes something like this...

"And what would you do, "the master said unto the multitude, "if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I command that you be happy in the world, as long as you like', what would you do then?"

That's one of my favourite lines. Simply, because its such a simple command.

Fall in love- be happy.
Smell the roses- be happy.
Watch the butterflies flutter and the dew drops melt and the leaf glisten - be happy.
Make wedding vows and keep them- be happy.
Teach your kid a nursery rhyme that was taught to you by your mom in the presence of your grandmom and bridge four generations in that one perhaps badly sung line- be happy.

Umm... hold on. I haven't done many of the items in the list above. So don't take me as an authority on it. But I know I'll be happy if, and when, I do those things. Yes- even singing badly to my daughter who i'm thinking of naming maanya( yes... yes... if, and when it happens for the nth time. I'm quite aware of the alternatives thank you very much) (or maybe manja- very german. But there's this restaurant that serves chinese good, and its called manjia. And i don't want to be reminded of dumplings everytime I call my daughter. What's worse, I don't want my daughter to grow up like a dumpling, which I might be so tempted to do because of the weird connections my brain makes. )

Oh and also, I don't wanna teach my kid any of those rhymes that have catastrophic endings. (They will end up learning it from friends or that dratted school they'll go to... but na uh, not from my hands) Humpty dumpty had a great fall. Jack fell down and broke his crown. The farmer cuts off the blind mice's tail with a carving knife. What the!!! (oh yeah... no swearing allowed either).

And yet, we seem incapable of following this simplest of directions. ( Not the swearing, the staying happy for as long as we live).

In "illusions", the people are in disbelief that there could be such a command. They talk heroically of suffering and torture and believe the treatment is just and fair and believe that they must graciously bear it. Its in their best interest, they believe.

Is it not, however, in our best interest to be happy ?
Why then do we crush it each time ? Sometimes we feel guilty. Othertimes we feel its not something that can be sustained, and spend our time preparing for something bad that we believe is going to come. Why is happiness so elusive...

I know I named this entry "the happiness theory", and I kinda did have a nicely formed hypothesis when I started, but I've run into a bit of a flaw. While I ponder about it, I'll let the rest of this post stay.

1 comment:

srividya said...

That was so sweet..! Happy thoughts like that sure keep people going... Hope you keep churning out infectiously delightful stuff like that........