In Pursuit of Happiness..

11 03 2008

There is a moment in that movie where Will Smith says, “It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?”. That did made me ponder about the futility thats inherent in the pursuit of happiness. Yet, I shut my inner voice to indulge in that movie, as I loved the father and son chemistry very much there.

I get quizzical when people come and tell me that they are in pursuit of these. Happiness. Joy. Laughter. Peace. Through out life, they keep these very things that they long for at bay running after materialistic pursuits , trying to ensure that they would be eternally happy ensconced in luxury in the end. Finally, most of them end up rudely surprised by the bout of misery and dissatisfaction that surmount them even after reaching the pinnacle of achievement. What went wrong? How could these tremendously intelligent people miss the bus of holistic Life?

This nagging thought is consuming me in all intensity. Though I can debate endlessly about the origin and location of happiness and proclaim holy statements that look with in one self, what makes me wonder is the continuity of effort that happiness demands. My moods, and state of mind are in constant flux, and there are always things that can make me rattled or cheesed off on a daily basis. It really requires detachment, determination and a great deal of focus to keep up my cool in times of crisis and uncertainty.

Two days back, I was very unhappy about a certain situation. My mind and emotions were really disturbed and then, in an attempt to tease myself out of thought and in pursuit of peace, I went to Ragi Gudda Temple. Even, the God couldn’t numb my worry and a little reflection told me that I desperately needed an attitude change more than the location or work. Probably seeking pleasure or happiness would inherently invite misery along. For, I believe that any activity inbuilt with a sense of purpose is a blend of pain and gain. We struggle, and we learn. We cry and we earn. We can only try to attempt a state of mind which can rival the lotus leaf that can stay untouched by the water even in the middle of a pond. We can be happy only if we choose to be happy. And that requires a constant effort indeed. For now, let me try to digest Karma Yoga (The Yoga of Action) of Swami Vivekananda which advocates about the pursuit of knowledge instead of pleasure. Hoping to garner some reflection there.


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10 responses

11 03 2008
sai

Well we are in a constant state of pursuit, just that as we grow in life we keep changing the means to achieve that Goal you have described – Happiness. We run after material things and comforts thinking at that moment in our naivety that it will give us the happiness….so on and so forth….all our successes and follies and sins and foibles and righteous deeds etc are but a means to that end- Happiness.

11 03 2008
12 03 2008
anoop

‘the pursuit of happiness’, It could have been more aptly called as ‘pursuit of money’. I know, I know… happiness is a feeling which can sprout only in a content person.. but, this person is madly behind success and money. I have no comments on how the movie has been made, father-son-chemistry or anything else. I oppose the movie title only :). My favorite scene in the movie is when he solves the cube, which according to me is the turning point.

btw, thanks for commenting on my blog.

13 03 2008
nrsl

@ sai
Agreed wholeheartedly!
@ rashmi
Been there.. I wasn’t talking about the movie though..
@ anoop
That’s my favorite scene too. What defines Smith’s character is his intensity and passion to win against all odds, for love.

29 03 2008
Rambler

“It really requires detachment, determination and a great deal of focus to keep up my cool in times of crisis and uncertainty.”

so very true.. I think it takes a lot of detachments, determination and also the plain intent to be happy .. for one to be really happy.

hey very nice post..

30 03 2008
nrsl

@ Rambler
Agreed. Thank you.

27 04 2008
theweathermansgirl

Sathya graha…

I think that happiness can be achieved.But it’s not meant to last.Life is a road that goes up and down.We climb a mountain for some few ecstatic moments “on the top of the world”,and then we fall.We find strength to go on,to climb another mountain,just to fall again.
I think that those few moments of happiness worth all the hard work and unhappiness.We could never appreciate the good if we didnt knew the bad.

27 04 2008
theweathermansgirl

We all look for happiness,but the ways of achieving it are different..

28 04 2008
nrsl

@ theweathermansgirl
Well said. I guess only when we hit the deepest of valleys, can we appreciate the highs of the mountains.

13 06 2013
poster printing

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