MATSHONA DHLIWAYO shares his journey of discovery about the secrets of happiness, and some wisdom on how we can all lead happier lives.
When I was young, I admired old people.
Now that I’m old, I admire wise people.
When I was a youth, I admired strong people.
Now that I’m old, I admire meek people.
When I was an adult, I admired wealthy people.
Now that I’m old, I admire happy people.
Since the beginning of time, we humans have been pursuing singular goals, and from the executive on Wall Street to the sheepherder on the rural plains of Kenya, to the stay-at-home mother in China, we have been driven by the ceaseless desire to be happy.
What we eat, wear and do are expressions of our pursuit of happiness. So are the books we buy, the shows we watch, and the relationships we pursue. But if humanity has searched for it since the beginning, how come happiness is still elusive? After all, we have gone to the moon, cured fatal diseases, and made countless discoveries in every field you can think of. Knowledge undeniably has increased, but happiness has not.
I came to the conclusion
that, as humans being
composed of mind, body,
and soul, we must nurture all
three to achieve our highest
This inspired my long, uncertain journey to find out the secrets to happiness. Day after day, month after month, I sat before scientists, saints and sages – intellectual and spiritual heavyweights, ancient and contemporary. Scientists said pleasure was the key, sages said relationships, saints said work and a few said self-denial. While I found truth in many of their points, after much contemplation I remembered the story of King Solomon, who according to the Bible was the wisest and richest man in history. He had all of the above, but he despaired in the end: “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” His pursuit of happiness ended miserably, as he was focused on his mind and body but at times forgot to nurture his soul. I came to the conclusion that, as humans being composed of mind, body, and soul, we must nurture all three to achieve our highest happiness.
Article by MATSHONA DHLIWAYO
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