I read a recent address of Pope Francis to teenagers where he said “happiness is not an app you can download”. I am sure everyone who heard the statement would agree with it without a second thought. But then let’s give this a second thought. Why do we need an authority like the Pope stating this simple, logical, undeniable reality to us…a reality which is part of our instincts, our nature our basic being? Why has being happy become such a task? I don’t know the answer. But let me take a few guesses.
Guess 1 Is it because of our greed…our greed to have much much more in lesser than less. We want more money in less work. We want more entertainment in less effort. More weight loss with less exercise. More flavour in less bites. We even want more social time in less time. And in this greed of more in less we keep hurrying through seconds, moments and life in general. And if we hurry through life how do we except to derive happiness from those seconds or moments because happiness is in the here and now. It’s in savouring the present.
Guess 2 Or is the cause our loss of organic connections. When every waking moment of our life is dedicated to connecting to a virtual world where do we have time to discover and stimulate our other senses and our inner being? Where is the time to observe and absorb our environment? Can tapping away endlessly on keyboards and screens give you the same warmth of a hug? Or can talking for hours over the phone exude the care of a loving face? Happiness is essentially contagious from one living being to another. We seem to have distanced ourselves from all those that can reciprocate our emotions. So unless they invent technology that loves, laughs, cries and mirrors us, we may find it difficult to be happy using even the most expensive cutting edge technology.
Guess 3 Or is it the loss of our connection with our own selves. We constantly live in a stimulated environment keeping ourselves preoccupied with everything that just pleases our senses superficially without touching our soul, our inner connect. We use these external stimulants to avoid connecting with our own selves thus keeping our souls lonely and isolated. Because our souls would make us think, contemplate, reminisce about who and what we are and that need not always be a comfortable thing, but it sure enhances the quality of our being. And if this soul, the inner you is so lonely and melancholic then how can you, its external manifestation expect to be happy or even know happiness? Like I said, I don’t have the answers. But at least I’m willing to look …and I’m willing to work towards bringing my happiness, my soul and me together once again.
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