Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happiness


“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
From "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert 

This quotation above is not here for me to hail it, say how it has changed my life, and recommend everyone to adapt it as a concept for happiness; quite the contrary, it is in here for no other reason but  to be ridiculed. For here's a small fact, I'd never quote such a book as "Eat, Pray, Love" for any other reason but that. You might ask why I am that prejudiced, knowing that I never read the book, and I'll tell you that even if you can't quite judge a book by its cover, you can always get some sort of a bad notion about it acquired from many things: the name; the audience who favor that book; reading some excerpts from it; and at times- ironically- from how it has topped the "bestsellers"-Twilight for instance.
My belief in the fallacy of such a thing stems from my other personal beliefs, and my personal beliefs have always agreed with Charlotte Bronte's "Passion:

"Some have won a wild delight 
By daring wilder sorrow
Could  gain thy love tonight
I'd hazard death tomorrow
"

  Happiness should not be but an offspring of coincidence, it should be effortless, it should have a flow to it and intoxication. If happiness was a result of hard work, search and seeking, it would regress from "magical" to "normal"; because then, happiness would be a most natural result to a group of factors summed up together. Happiness is happiness for no other reason but the element of surprise, take that away, and it would become banal.
  Of course happiness has degrees, the one I've just described is the last degree, the "absolute" one. Today, I am happy. My happiness comes somewhere in the first degrees. But it scares me all the same; and that is the part where my beliefs coincide with Bronte's.
   Happiness no matter how slight, has always been a bad omen for me; I always fear it. Life doesn't give something without taking another away, and I'd keep on wondering, what is in store for me. I am always cautious with happiness, and I always build boundaries around it, so that it would never be "absolute"; for what then would be imminent but strangling pain?   For here's another thing I believe in, feelings are like pendulums, if you hold a stable one, fling it to the right, leave it, it would never go back to its rest position, it would be flung back to the left.
   At times, like today, I try to shake all that off, and keep on telling myself that I have already had my share of "strangling pain" getting nothing in return, so who knows, perhaps it might last a bit this time, and perhaps it won't end in disaster.But  I know no fates to tell, and leave that for the days.
 I only would like to say, that even if it was only today, I am thankful for it. 


3 comments:

  1. Here's another Bronte quote on happiness:
    "Happiness is the cure - a cheerful mind the preventive: cultivate both."
    No Mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shinning far down upon us out of heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping down upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.
    "Cultivate happiness?" I said briefly to the doctor: 'do you cultivate happiness? How do you manage it?"
    "I am a cheerful fellow by nature: and then ill-luck has never dogged me. Adversity gave me and my mother one passing scowl and brush, but we defied her, or rather laughed at her, and she went by."
    "There is no cultivation in all this."
    "I do not give way to melancholy."

    From Villette by Charlotte Bronte

    Yayy you're back to blogging and decided to write more. #Win
    I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love but i've seen the movie. I guess people want instant happiness and someone to tell them we all can have it. Thing is if I travelled to Italy, India and God knows where else, I would be happy too.

    ReplyDelete